Trump Slashes Funding for ACA Navigators

Navigators help guide people not used to dealing with health insurance through the enrollment period.

There will be less money for a program that helps ensure better participation in ACA plans during the open enrollment period this November. The Trump administration will fund the ACA outreach efforts for $10 million next year, that’s down from $36 million for 2018 enrollment and almost $63 million for 2017.

The Wall Street Journal reports: “The drop in funding for the outreach groups known as ‘navigators’ illustrates the Trump administration’s continuing push to roll back support of the health law after Republicans in Congress failed to repeal the ACA. Other efforts include changes that will allow for the sale of health plans that don’t comply with the ACA’s consumer protection and benefit requirements.”

The decision drew immediate fire. Democratic Sen. Parry Murray said in a statement: “There shouldn’t be anything controversial about helping people get the information they need to ensure they have affordable, comprehensive coverage, but the Trump Administration’s health care sabotage clearly has no limits.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported just what navigators would do before the program was launched. “These helpers will hang out at church picnics and beauty salons, and even go door to door. Ideally, they will be people well-known in the neighborhood, working through established groups.”