Ex-Obama official: Trump 'sabotage' slowed healthcare enrollment

Ex-Obama official: Trump 'sabotage' slowed healthcare enrollment
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A former Obama administration official estimates that nearly 500,000 people missed out on ObamaCare enrollment this year because of moves by the Trump administration.

Joshua Peck, former chief marketing officer for healthcare.gov, said "there should be no doubt" that the Trump administration's efforts to "sabotage" enrollment were successful. 

"The Administration’s actions may have blocked nearly half a million people from getting covered," Peck said.

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"About 480,000 real people, with lives and families didn’t get health coverage."

He estimated the pulling the TV ads likely caused enrollment to drop by 350,000 people. 

An executive order signed by President Trump related to ObamaCare could have discouraged another 130,000 people from signing up, he said. 

Peck said he reached his estimate by looking at historical deadline performance and the measured impact of outreach so far this year. 

Shortly after Trump's inauguration, his administration reportedly pulled $5 million worth of ads and outreach planned for the final days of the sign-up period. Some of the ads could not be canceled, however, and emails reminding people to enroll were still sent out.

Democrats reacted with anger, saying the administration was trying to sabotage the law. 

The last five days of enrollment are seen as the most critical because of a last-minute sign-up surge.

Last year, Peck said, 700,000 people enrolled during the final week of enrollment. 

The final ObamaCare enrollment numbers have not yet been released.