Trump administration cuts funding for ACA enrollment efforts again

Grant funding for navigators to assist individuals in signing up for insurance on Healthcare.gov was cut, it was announced on Tuesday. (Getty/Halfpoint)

The Trump Administration announced it would further cut funding for community outreach grants that help individuals sign up for health exchanges created under Obamacare. 

On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced it would provide only $10 million for the navigator program for this fall's open enrollment period, down from $36 million last year, which itself was a drop from the $63 million provided for assistance programs in 2016. 

RELATED: Amid fears of Trump administration sabotage, ACA navigators get early start on open enrollment preparation

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The cut comes along with a previously announced 90% cut in advertising for Healthcare.gov, which HHS officials have said is part of the natural reduction of promotional efforts for a program that is now several years old. 

"The Exchange is now an established marketplace for individuals seeking insurance," officials said in a release. "As the Exchange has grown in visibility and become more familiar to Americans seeking health insurance, the need for federally funded Navigators has diminished."

The HHS officials also criticized the effectiveness of the navigator program compared to the use of agents and brokers, saying nearly 80 percent of navigators failed to reach their enrollment goals.

But critics are likely to see this latest move as further evidence of the administration's efforts to sabotage enrollment on Healthcare.gov and state-run exchanges.

RELATED: Democrats demand answers, navigators reel in wake of ACA outreach funding cut