On Thursday, the Trump administration announced that they are downsizing funding for Obamacare enrollment outreach efforts from $100 million to just $10 million. The announcement was made by the Department of Health and Human Services officials.
One of the officials said the cuts are required because the administration is already struggling with “diminishing returns” from the program. He also cited some of the program’s shortcomings for the changes.
A spokesperson for the department argued that a health-care system that offers many counties just one coverage option and doubled premiums are not functioning.
The Trump administration is determined to serve the American people instead of trying to sell them a bad deal,
The HHS spokesperson said.
Even though they oppose Obamacare, the Trump administration will still be spending some tax dollars on enrollment efforts. The HHS also said that they are slashing funds for the groups that encourage people to sign up, the so-called “navigators.”
‘Navigators’ Will Be Held Accountable
Trump administration experts unveiled that “navigators” would get funding based on their last year’s performance. For instance, if an organization hit just 60% of their proposed target, they’d be getting just 60% of the funding.
The administration wants to hold the groups accountable, the spokesperson said.
The funding for “navigators” will go down by nearly a half, to $36.8 million. HHS now wants to set a target for the number of new Obamacare enrollees, but the officials have yet to agree on the details.
The recent changes were met with strong opposition. Congressional Democrats accuse the White House of trying to “further sabotage” President Obama’s signature healthcare overhaul legislation. They are saying that the recent cuts are one more attempt to make the program fail.
Rep. Frank Pallone Jr (D-NJ) thinks that slashing the funding by 90% is a clear sign the federal government tries to deter enrollment and throw the markets into chaos.
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