Trump administration slashes budget for ObamaCare ads

The Trump administration said Thursday it is slashing its budget on advertising for ObamaCare enrollment for next year.

Advertising will be cut to $10 million for the 2018 open enrollment season, officials at Health and Human Services said. That's down from $100 million for the 2017 sign-up season.

“The Trump administration is determined to serve the American people instead of trying to sell them a bad deal,” Health and Human Services press secretary Caitlin Oakley said.

Funding for consumer helpers called "navigators" will also be cut, from $62.5 million for 2017, to about $36 million for next year.

“Under the Trump Administration, we’re committed to more responsible, effective government,” Oakley said. “ObamaCare’s Navigator program has been ineffective. During the upcoming enrollment period, Navigators will be funded in proportion to their performance.”

Democrats are likely to accuse the administration of trying to undermine the program, which President Donald Trump says is going to "implode."


But the administration said it still plans to advertise information about ObamaCare’s open enrollment period.

Randy Pate, a deputy administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said Thursday the agency plans to advertise the new dates of the open enrollment period through digital media, email and text messages.

“These outreach methodologies have proven the most effective in reaching existing and new enrollees,” Pate said. “Outreach will also be targeted based on specific demographic and geographic data. This approach is not only based on previous evaluation of past exchange outreach efforts, but is also consistent with promotional spending on Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D.”

Fox News’ Kristin Brown and The Associated Press contributed to this report.