A former Obama administration official claimed that President Trump’s cuts to Obamacare’s advertising budget could cause 1.1 million fewer people to enroll in the healthcare marketplace.
“The threat to Open Enrollment this year is very real,” wrote Josh Peck, a former Obama administration official, in an analysis published on Medium.
Peck, who served as Healthcare.gov’s chief marketing officer, based his analysis on Obama administration studies that linked enrollments with the amount of money spent on television ads, digital ads, phone calls, and emails.
“People will be hurt by the administration’s actions,” he said.
Peck “crunched the numbers” from the data in the studies after taking the news that the Trump administration slashed the advertising budget for Obamacare by 90 percent from $100 million to $10 million into account.
Obamacare advocates like Peck argue that the slashed budget will mean that fewer people would take advantage of financial assistance or know when the open enrollment period begins, even after he called his analysis “the best case scenario.”
Health and Human Services spokesperson Matt Lloyd said that contrary to Peck’s analysis, advertising campaigns had not been linked to increased enrollment on the Obamacare exchanges.
“As Obamacare enters its fifth open enrollment period, it is clear that massive advertising campaigns have not delivered substantial gains in coverage on Obamacare’s exchanges,” Lloyd said in a statement.
“Last year, fewer Americans bought Obamacare coverage despite the previous Administration nearly doubling the advertising budget. More marketing will not convince Americans to sign up for failed coverage they cannot afford or that does not meet their needs,” he added.