Affirming its disdain for ObamaCare, the Trump administration on Thursday announced sharp cuts in programs promoting health care enrollment under the Affordable Care Act for next year, the AP reports. Advertising will be cut from $100 million spent on 2017 sign-ups to $10 million, said Health and Human Services officials. Funding for consumer helpers called "navigators" will also be cut about 40%, from $62.5 million for 2017, to $36.8 million for next year. That change reflects a new performance-based ethic that penalizes navigator programs failing to meet their sign-up targets, administration officials said.
Top Democrats accused the administration of malice. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the administration is waging a "cynical effort to lower enrollment" that would "create chaos" and increase premiums. Her Senate counterpart, Chuck Schumer, said the administration "is deliberately attempting to sabotage our health care system," adding that "the American people will know who's to blame." It was unclear how Trump's latest move might affect a planned effort in the Senate to craft bipartisan legislation that would stabilize insurance markets.