Trump Administration's Sabotage of Affordable Care Act Continues

White House

"The Trump Administration should be doing everything in its power to improve Americans' access to health care, not cutting efforts that help Americans get coverage", Wyden said in a statement.

Trump nose-dived in his bid to repeal the health care law two months ago following an unsuccessful attempt by Senate Republicans thereby putting an end to the Party's seven-year quest to overturn Obamacare.

About 12.2 million people signed up for subsidized private health insurance under the health care law this year, many in states that Trump carried in the November election.

"I can't think what the justification is for doing this" because experience has shown people need help getting through the enrollment process, said Jodi Ray, who leads the University of South Florida's navigator program.

"A health-care system that has caused premiums to double and left almost half of our counties with only one coverage option is not working", HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley said.

For the 2018 enrollment period, CMS said it would target its advertising and outreach activities to educate consumers on the new dates of the open enrollment period through digital media, email, and text messages. The administration said the navigators received $62.5 million last year, while signing up 81,426 people, and funding for this year will be reduced by 39 percent.

"Effective education ensures that consumers understand their coverage options and encourages broader participation of healthy individuals", said Kristine Grow, a spokeswoman for the insurance group.

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But the money for enrollment education is a reversal from January when the Trump administration ceased advertising and outreach efforts for during the final days of the enrollment season.

The administration says that with the ACA advertising and the navigator program, the government hasn't gotten much bang for its buck. If an organization hit only 30 percent of its goal last year, it will receive 30 percent of last year's funding.

For next year, officials said, navigator funding will reflect each sign-up center's performance. The cuts represent a 90% spending reduction for the upcoming enrollment period. Some states have taken outreach into their own hands.

The agency will also change how the ACA's Navigator program is funded.

But the administration said it still plans to advertise information about ObamaCare's open enrollment period.

Democrats are not happy with the news.

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