Researchers Race to Copy Obamacare Data for Fear It Will Vanish
The White House is encouraging researchers to copy government data on Obamacare out of concern that President-elect Donald Trump might hit the delete key when he takes office.
Spooked by Trump’s rhetoric and pledge to repeal Obamacare, several dozen independent researchers are racing to download key health care data and documents before Jan. 20. They say they began the effort on their own, and then got a boost from Jeanne Lambrew, the White House’s top health reform official, who also sounded alarms the new administration might expunge reams of information from public websites and end access to data, researchers told POLITICO.
Lambrew and the White House declined to comment. “We are not going to speculate on what sort of policies President-elect Trump may choose to prioritize or pursue,” said a representative of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Capturing data on how consumers use and pay for health care is a central pillar of the Affordable Care Act — crucial not only to administering and measuring the law’s success, but also for any future efforts to reform the $3 trillion industry.
The efforts by researchers at some of the nation’s most prominent think tanks reflect the extraordinary anxiety not just of civil servants, but also of supporters of the ACA and other Obama-era policies as they brace for an administration that has pledged to dismantle those laws and has already cast doubt on the veracity of government data, for instance, regarding the unemployment rate.
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