Slashing ACA Advertising and Outreach Budget is Bad News for Small Businesses
Statement from Small Business Majority Founder & CEO John Arensmeyer in response to today’s announcement by the Trump administration that it intends to drastically reduce the budget for Affordable Care Act advertising and outreach
The Trump administration today said it plans to cut the advertising budget for open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces by 90 percent while also reducing funding for the in-person ACA outreach program by $23 million. If finalized, these moves will hurt small businesses because we need a robust education and outreach program to stabilize the ACA marketplaces and ensure small business owners and their employees have the information they need to enroll in health coverage.
This ill-conceived decision on the part of the Trump administration comes on the heels of claims by an administration official that the administration intends to help stabilize the ACA marketplaces. Evidently, the administration believes educating fewer people about the ACA will somehow increase understanding of and enrollment in these marketplaces.
President Trump and his allies still do not understand the extent to which small employers and their employees rely on the ACA for quality, affordable health insurance. Indeed, a recent U.S. Treasury Department study found 1 in 5 marketplace participants in 2014 was a small business owner or self-employed.
Given the importance of the ACA to the small business community, the Trump administration must at least maintain the current budget for ACA education and outreach. If it does so, that will go a long way toward stabilizing the marketplaces – something the Trump administration is now claiming as a goal.
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to ensure America’s entrepreneurs are a key part of an inclusive, equitable and diverse economy. We actively engage our network of more than 55,000 small business owners in support of public policy solutions and deliver information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about key issues impacting small businesses and freelancers. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.