"the minimum necessary"

via Robert Pear, New York Times:

A Trump administration official said Wednesday that the administration wanted to stabilize health insurance markets, but refused to say if the government would promote enrollment this fall under the Affordable Care Act or pay for the activities of counselors who help people sign up for coverage.

The official also declined to say whether the administration would continue paying subsidies to insurance companies to compensate them for reducing deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income people. Without the subsidies, insurers say, they would sharply increase premiums.

The administration, the official suggested, will do the minimum necessary to comply with the law, which Mr. Trump has called “an absolute disaster” and threatened to let collapse.

...The official said the Trump administration had not set any numerical goals for sign-ups under the health care law, and the official did not know if the administration would do so. President Barack Obama used such goals to motivate a small army of counselors, “navigators” and assistants who helped millions of people sign up for insurance in the last four years.

...The Trump administration official spoke to about 20 journalists on Wednesday on the condition of anonymity, evidently because major decisions had not been made. The fifth annual open enrollment period, when people can sign up for insurance or switch plans, will run from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, about half as long as the last one.

Asked if the Trump administration wanted the public marketplaces to succeed, the official did not answer directly.

In short: Trump/Price don't have to ACTIVELY sabotage the ACA, they can cause plenty of damage by simply doing NOTHING AT ALL.


I love how this story goes out of the way to make it obvious who the anonymous administration official is. https://t.co/t6Jb2ztBfz

— Jeffrey Young (@JeffYoung) August 31, 2017

Young is referring here to the fact that the NY Times story quotes the "anonymous" official as stating that she's "a mom with two kids", noting that CMS Administrator Seema Verma happens to have two children.

Basically, as Anne Paulson notes in the comments below, this amounts to the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid flat-out stating that the Trump Administration intends on sabotaging the ACA as much as possible this fall, which isn't particularly shocking but is still worth noting for the record.