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Critics accuse Trump of undermining Obamacare after cuts, scheduled website shutdown

Posted at 5:48 PM, Sep 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 17:48:19-04

They've spent years helping people sign up for health care through the Affordable Care Act. That is until President Trump moved to Washington. It's a campaign promise that has yet to pass the Senate.

Once again, the GOP's effort to repeal and replace Obamacare is expected to fail.

"They gave me a list of 10 people that were absolute 'no', these are 10 republican Senators," said President Trump.

So for now, open enrollment for the marketplace will open back up as scheduled on November 1. But this year, healthcare.gov will be a lot less accessible due to changes by the Trump administration.

"One was cutting open enrollment in half. It use to be 3 months, now it is one and a half months," said ACA navigator Rachel DeGolia.

The government also cut the advertising budget by 90 percent.

"I don't think sabotage is too intense of a word," said DeGolia.

DeGolia has worked as a Northeast Ohio healthcare navigator since 2013. But on Friday, in the midst of her re-certification training, she and other state navigators got word the Ohio Association of Food Banks was eliminating the program. The agency was allocating a federal grant to organizations like the Community Health Accreditation Partner in Cleveland for the navigator program.

"They could not in good faith take on administering a grant that was only a third of the funds," said DeGolia.

DeGolia says since 2013, navigators have helped over 9000 Ohioans enroll in the marketplace and 35,000 under Medicaid expansion. However, DeGolia still speculates if she would have even completed her training on-time.

"There are a lot of problems, more than usual with utilizing the training website....they have a help desk, technical support, but we no longer had a number to call."

The Trump administration says that maintenance outages for the website have been scheduled every year.

But former officials say it was never this frequent.