This is the most brazen act of Obamacare sabotage yet | Touch Latest Local,World,Tech,Entertainment,Health,Sport News
23 April 2018 00:00:00 AM Breaking News

• INSURANCE

This is the most brazen act of Obamacare sabotage yet

The Trump administration has let funding for Obamacare's $63 million in-person outreach program lapse, leading to layoffs and confusion among nonprofits that enroll vulnerable populations in coverage.

"I have delivered 10 layoff notices to staff members," says Donna Friedsam, director of Covering Wisconsin. "We don't have a funding flow anymore."

The government had previously announced it would cut the budget for Obamacare's navigator program by 41 percent. But right now, the program has no funding at all. Last year's grants ran out on September 1, and the administration still has not awarded next year's money.The sudden funding halt comes at a critical time for the Affordable Care Act. Navigator groups were just beginning to ramp up outreach for the health law's open enrollment period, which begins November 1. Now, some have done an about-face: They've canceled outreach work and appointments with potential enrollees because they have no budget to cover those costs.

These groups often work with the most vulnerable populations enrolled under the Affordable Care Act. One-third of those who seek in-person help signing up for coverage do not have internet at home, and one in 10 do not speak English.

Navigator organizations say the administration has not made clear when the 2018 funding will arrive, although it could be as late as September 30. Health and Human Services, which oversees the program, has said that this funding will notbe retroactive, meaning there may be no budget for activities this month, according to three navigators who have spoken with officials there.

"As someone who has worked on many federal grants, this is really unusual," Friedsam says. "Usually if the grant letter shows up late, it still goes back to the project start date. The Trump administration is essentially saying, you need to deconstruct your organization on September 1 and reconstruct it on whatever day we provide funding. In what world is that possible?"

Letting the Obamacare outreach budget lapse goes well beyond the promised 40 percent budget cut. It means that, right now, enrollment groups currently have no budget at all — and no resources to prepare for an open enrollment season that begins in 54 days.

Trump initially planned to cut the budget for Obamacare outreach. But right now, there's no budget at all.

The Obama administration spent $62.5 million in 2016 providing grants to nonprofits and health clinics to help Americans sign up for health coverage. This "navigator" program paid enrollment workers to assist with enrollment and advertise the open enrollment period to their community (through things like phone calls and health fairs).

The Trump administration announced on August 31 it would reduce the navigator program's budget to $36 million. It will focus its budget cuts on the navigator grantees that have fallen short of their enrollment goals. A navigator grantee, for example, who only hit 30 percent of its enrollment goal this year will get just 30 percent of its expected budget for next year (no grantees will be defunded entirely — the first HHS official said they'd set a floor of $10,000 for all participants).

Navigator grantees expected that their new, smaller budgets for 2018 would follow that August 31 announcement because the 2017 budget was set to run out September 1.

Recommended

Loading...

Related Posts

Customs Intercepts Goods and Vehicles Worth N28m

The Oyo/ Osun Command of Nigeria Customs Service, on Wednesday 14th June, 2017,

Read More

This is the most brazen act of Obamacare sabotage yet

The Trump administration has let funding for Obamacare's $63 million i

Read More

Hurricane Irma will hammer insurance industry with at least $15 billion in claims, study shows

The insurance industry will need to brace for billions in claims related to Hurr

Read More

Only one country in US remains without an Obamacare insurer for 2018

There has been a steady decrease in the number of counties at risk of having no

Read More

N541.8bn debt: Access bank, others take over Etisalat

consortium of Nigerian banks including Access Bank PLC and United Bank for Afric

Read More

Court orders forfeiture of estate owned by Alison-Madueke

A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of an estate in

Read More

Uber Aims To Launch Flying Taxis In Dallas And Dubai By 2023

10 years ago, the concept of self-driving cars seemed the stuff of science-ficti

Read More

Also Read

Trump signs order which could reopen oil and gas drilling in restricted areas

U.S. President Donald Trump said he was “unleashing American energy”

Read More

Buhari Suspends SGF, NIA DG

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the suspension of the Secretary to the G

Read More

Govt mulls special divisions within judiciary to handle corruption cases

Following the recurring loss of court cases in its anti-corruption war, the Fede

Read More

Political rivalry between neighbors in Washington attracts the intervention of their building management

A political rivalry between neighbors ata Southwest Washington D.C. apartme

Read More

Fed govt determined to improving transportation sector – Amaechi

The Hon. Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, said tha

Read More

Federal School Of Statistics(FSS) Now on NBTE List with PHOTO

We came we saw we conquerFor those doubting Thomas....Kudos to the whole FSS Sta

Read More

SSD vs. HDD: What's the Difference?

Do you like your storage cheap and plentiful, or fast and safe? Here's how to ch

Read More

Nikon's latest DSLR is easy-to-use, affordable, and great for Instagrammers

The $800 Nikon D5600 is light, simple, and perfect for anyone that wants a class

Read More

Saraki’s trial Legislator tasks anti-graft agencies

A member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Babajimi Benson (Lagos-APC), ha

Read More