HHS announced Thursday that it will cut the ACA's advertising budget by 90 percent in 2018, reducing allocated funds to $10 million, according to Bloomberg.
The administration believes the advertising money has been spent inefficiently. "Judging effectiveness by the amount of money spent and not the results achieved is irresponsible and unhelpful to the American people," said Caitlin Oakley, an HHS spokeswoman.
Critics, on the other hand, say the move say it is an attempt by the Trump administration to sabotage the ACA by lowering enrollment. Many experts say advertising dollars are closely tied to enrollment on state exchanges, and that ACA outreach provides vital information to people who wouldn't have otherwise known how to register for individual plans.
"It seems perfectly appropriate to review outreach efforts and see if they can be done more efficiently, but these cuts are quite large," said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health research group. "There's no doubt that cuts to outreach and advertising will result in more people uninsured."
More Articles on Payer Issues: