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> Maria Lozoya delivers her pitch to Hispanic listeners on local Arizona radio, urging them to sign up for medical coverage under Obamacare. Lozoya is in Nogales on the US-Mexico border.>> They need somebody they can trust.>> She's one of the program's several thousand navigators around the country, helping people in rural and non-English speaking communities get enrolled Even as President Donald Trump and Republicans try to overturn the Affordable Care Act, so far without success.
Yasmeen Abutaleb reported the story from Nogales.>> So I talked to some families who had lost employer sponsored coverage and with the help of a navigator could figure out which individual plan or Medicaid plan they were eligible for. And these groups now, their focus is on getting people who have traditionally lacked access to coverage, and maybe haven't signed up even in the first few years of Obamacare.
>> Obamacare is one of the greatest catastrophes.>> But because of all the messages from Trump, from the administration that the law is failing and instead there's been a lot of confusion in already vulnerable communities over whether they can sign up or whether they'll ever be eligible for benefits.
>> And it's more than just talk from Trump, his administration has slashed advertising for Obamacare, cut the annual enrollment period in half, and plans to cut funding for navigators like Maria by 40%. Navigators said they were given no warning their funding was at risk, and were shocked to learn of the cuts the day before the new money was due to come in on September first.
Groups that employ navigators like Lozoya, such as the Arizona Center for Rural Health, have had to scale back.>> So it's a lot of grassroots efforts. It's relying on community leaders, the hospitals, faith leaders to help them get the word out.>> The Trump Administration says navigators have been ineffective.
Enrolling only about 81,000 people in Obamacare, out of almost 10 million sign ups last year. Even after the latest Republican bid to repeal Obamacare has collapsed, Trump is vowing to try again in a few months.>> People who got insurance for the first time in years or ever are really fearful that that coverage is going to be taken away because it's been a sort of lifeline for them.
>> The pressure from the administration expected to have a chilling effect on enrollment which begins November 1st. The congressional budget office estimating 4 million fewer sign ups in 2018 than previously forecast due to policy moves from the White House.