Our new trend report, “Erasing the Affordable Care Act: Using Government Web Censorship to Undermine the Law,” explores the current administration’s censorship of ACA-related web content to show that loose regulation of federal government websites allows an administration to use them to weaken laws it opposes. The Web Integrity Project has documented 26 instances of ACA censorship — including excised words, removed links, altered paragraphs, and removed pages — on HHS websites. These examples of censorship are unlikely to be all of the instances of ACA-related censorship on federal websites, and may represent only a small sample of the censorship that has occurred since President Trump took office.
HHS offices have censored a wide array of content aimed at a variety of audiences, including the general public, beneficiaries, and those who serve beneficiaries. They’ve surgically removed the term “Affordable Care Act” from many webpages; taken down information on rights guaranteed under the ACA; eliminated statistics and data on the ACA’s impact; and removed links to the federal government’s main platform for enrolling in ACA coverage, HealthCare.gov. If repeated on a wide scale, these forms of censorship of ACA information on federal websites have the potential to affect public support and awareness of the law. Ultimately, censorship that affects public opinion and awareness of the ACA may jeopardize Americans’ access to coverage and health services, and down the line, the ACA’s long-term viability.
Direct to Full Text Report: Erasing the Affordable Care Act: Using Government Web Censorship to Undermine the Law
127 pages; PDF.
Direct to Introductory Blog Post