(Bloomberg) — The Trump administration has pulled some advertising designed to encourage people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, days before the final deadline to buy 2017 health plans under the law.
The Department of Health and Human Services withdrew about $5 million of advertising, according to Matt Lloyd, a spokesman for the department. He said that represented “some” but not all of the ads scheduled to run before the Jan. 31 deadline.
“The federal government has spent more than $60 million promoting the open enrollment period,” Lloyd said in an e-mail. “HHS has pulled back roughly $5 million of the final placement in an effort to look for efficiencies where they exist.”
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Trump campaigned on a promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and signed an executive order on his first day in office directing federal agencies to work to minimize the law’s economic and regulatory burdens. Withdrawing the ads could depress enrollment in the law’s markets, a closely watched indicator of how ‘Obamacare’ is faring.
Politico reported the withdrawals earlier Thursday, saying the advertising had already been paid for by the Obama administration. Lloyd said the $5 million would be returned to the government. Politico also said HHS had stopped sending e-mails to encourage people to enroll in health plans.