Trump pulls all ACA advertisements to try and hamstring Obamacare

President Donald Trump has taken a bold step to wreck the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.

According to Politico's Paul Demko, the new administration has pulled all advertisements for Healthcare.gov and has frozen efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to encourage people to sign up for plans through the ACA.

The pulling of ads includes those that have already been paid for and placed, according to Politico. For the 2015-2016 open enrollment period, HHS spent around $35 million on ads encouraging people to sign up.

Americans with health insurance through their employer or Medicare or Medicaid can sign up for plans through the ACA's public exchanges through January 31 for a 2017 plan.

Typically, the run-up to deadlines is accompanied by a significant uptick in sign ups. As Politico reported, this is especially true for young people, who are needed to balance the risk in the individual market pools.

Trump has maintained the law would "collapse on its own." But according to CBO projections, the number of people enrolled will continue to increase and eventually stabilize, not go into the "death spiral" as Republicans predicted.

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Protests for and against Obamacare

Tea Party Patriots supporters hold signs protesting the Affordable Care Act in front of the Supreme Court as the court hears arguments on the health care reform bill on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Affordable Care Act supporters wave signs outside the Supreme Court after the court upheld court's Obamacare on Thursday, June 25, 2015.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A man holds signs during a protest on the second day of oral arguments for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building on March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today is the second of three days the high court has set aside to hear six hours of arguments over the constitutionality President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sister Caroline attends a rally with other supporters of religious freedom to praise the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby, contraception coverage requirement case on June 30, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby, which operates a chain of arts-and-craft stores, challenged the provision and the high court ruled 5-4 that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception under the Affordable Care Act violated a federal law protecting religious freedom.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

An Obamacare supporter counter protests a Tea Party rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in the morning hours of March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court continued to hear oral arguments on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Affordable Care Act supporters hold up signs outside the Supreme Court as they wait for the court's decision on Obamacare on Thursday, June 25, 2015.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ron Kirby holds a sign while marching in protest of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today the high court, which has set aside six hours over three days, will hear arguments over the constitutionality President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A protester waves his bible in the air as he overpowered by cheers from supporters of the Affordable Care Act as they celebrate the opinion for health care outside of the Supreme Court in Washington,Thursday June 25, 2015. The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.

(Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Nuns, who are opposed to the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, and other supporters rally outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. On Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, a consolidated case brought by religious groups challenging a process for opting out of the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.

(Drew Angerer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Supporters of contraception rally before Zubik v. Burwell, an appeal brought by Christian groups demanding full exemption from the requirement to provide insurance covering contraception under the Affordable Care Act, is heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington March 23, 2016.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Protestors hold placards challenging 'Obamacare' outside of the US Supreme Court on March 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. The US Supreme Court heard a second challenge to US President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The US Supreme Court faces a momentous case Wednesday on the sweeping health insurance reform law that President Barack Obama wants to leave as part of his legacy. The question before the court is whether the seven million people or more who subscribed via the government's website can obtain tax subsidies that make the coverage affordable. A ruling is expected in June.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

 Linda Door (L) protests against President Obama's health care plan in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on March 26, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today the high court, which has set aside six hours over three days, will hear arguments over the constitutionality President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act celebrate after the Supreme Court up held the law in the 6-3 vote at the Supreme Court in Washington June 25, 2015. The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide availability of tax subsidies that are crucial to the implementation of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, handing a major victory to the president.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

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The end of the open enrollment period is crucial because the share of total enrollees that are age 18-34 increases substantially during that time.

This is important because the pools have been filled with too many older and sicker people in certain states over the past few years, causing many large insurers to lose money on the exchanges.

In turn, insurers leaving the exchanges and exacerbated cost increases. While there are some states that have mitigated these issues by expanding Medicaid and other provisions, it is crucial for the stability of some states' to get young people to sign up.

According to a report from The Huffington Post, an HHS official said the pulled ad buy was worth around $5 million.

The push to sign up young people was important to try to correct course, but it appears the move by Trump's administration could hamstring that effort.

Thus with fewer young people in the exchanges this year, the problems that GOP lawmakers have predicted would happen might come to pass.

It is unclear just how much the scaling back as impacted the law so far because the HHS under Trump has also scaled back on any communication about Obamacare.

The HHS Twitter account has not referenced the ACA deadline — after tweeting about it multiple times a day — since a tweet on January 19, the day before Trump's inauguration.

It is unclear how many Americans have signed up for care since the department has halted communications and not issued their typically bi-weekly enrollment update since the Trump administration took office. The last update on January 10 pegged enrollments through the ACA's provisions at 11.54 million.

Former director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Andy Slavitt, whose department of the HHS oversaw the ACA exchanges, tweeted his displeasure with the move, saying it was "misguided actions which purposely hurt ACA consumers."

Trump has long been opposed to the ACA, calling it a "disaster" and promising to repeal and replace it.

Republican lawmakers kicked off the repeal of the law by advancing a budget resolution through the House and Senate that directs committees to draft a replacement bill using the budget reconciliation process.

So far, there has not been a concrete proposal for a replacement from Republican leadership, but a few GOP senators have introduced plans that are significantly different.

NOW WATCH: Watch Former CIA director James Woolsey explain why he won't advise the Trump transition team anymore

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Trump is making a massive promise about his Obamacare replacement


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