Trump administration guts funding for ACA outreach program

Most of the funding for an Affordable Care Act outreach program is being cut by the Trump administration, a move announced late Tuesday that touched off an angry response from Democrats who called it another attempt to sabotage the health law.

The program, which provides money to outreach groups urging people to sign up for plans on the ACA exchanges, will get $10 million in federal funding for the 2019 open enrollment period, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees implementation of the ACA. That is down from $36 million in 2018 and almost $63 million in 2017.

Groups applying for funds will also be encouraged to provide enrollment assistance for the new plans that don’t comply with the ACA, a further weakening of administration support for the Obama-era health law.

The administration argues that organizations getting the funding have often failed to reach enrollment goals. Democrats and advocates of the ACA, however, say the cuts are an attempt by the administration to gut a program that is essential to ensuring robust sign-ups during open enrollment, which begins in November.

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