Trump ‘hell-bent on sabotaging’ Obamacare with cuts, Florida foes say

Obamacare supporters in Florida reacted quickly to reports Thursday evening that the Trump administration plans to cut its advertising budget 90 percent to $10 million and slash money for navigators, or guides to help people sign up,  by 39 percent to about $37 million.

“Our state’s in-person assisters and outreach efforts have been a critical component in the effort to get health insurance for Florida’s diverse population,” said state Rep. Nick Duran, D-Miami. “These funds have helped build a healthy risk pool, kept premiums down, and made Florida the state with the largest enrollment numbers in the nation–all while reducing uninsured rates by double digits since the marketplace opened.”

Word of the cuts comes on the heels of reports the nation’s uninsured rate has hit a new low, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Former Obama health administrator Andy Slavitt tweeted an “aim to fail” strategy is in motion.

The administration has already trimmed the enrollment period on Affordable Care Act markets from three months to 45 days, Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.

“The Trump Administration is hell-bent is on sabotaging the success of the ACA in Florida by hobbling outreach efforts, guaranteeing higher rates and shorter enrollment times for people seeking care,” Duran said in a statement. “Rather than addressing problems that still exist with our healthcare system, they are making them worse. This callous decision makes little sense and hurts those that are already vulnerable in our state. Cutting funding for outreach by 90 percent does not make for a more efficient government–it makes for a crueler one.”

Attempts to reach U.S. Health and Human Services officials for comment were not immediately successful.

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, said Friday, “This is another manipulative attempt by the Trump Administration to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and will do nothing to help Americans obtain affordable, quality healthcare. These unconscionable cuts will deny millions, including those with cancer and other life threatening diseases, the information and assistance they need to get coverage and stay healthy.”

 

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