The Trump administration plans to deeply cut Obamacare outreach and advertising, officials announced Thursday. They will reduce Obamacare advertising spending 90 percent, from the $100 million that the Obama administration spent last year to $10 million this year, and cut the budget for the in-person enrollment program by 41 percent.
Taken together, this represents a 72 percent cut to efforts to enroll eligible Americans into health law programs.
Administration officials cited “diminishing returns” from outreach activities. In a phone call with reporters, they said that most Americans already know about the Affordable Care Act. They plan to make the deepest cuts to the enrollment workers who have signed up few health law enrollees.
Obamacare advocates, however, worry that these type of budget cuts will be devastating to the law, making it difficult for potential enrollees to learn about the benefits.
"The surest way to kill the exchanges is to keep them a secret," says Timothy Jost, a consumer advocate at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Sick people will find them, but getting younger and healthier people enrolled is the problem."