>> As Americans start signing up for Obamacare health insurance plans Wednesday, experts expect lower participation rates this year with a fierce battle on Washington that's undermining the program's future. The non partisan Congressional budget office estimates that about 4 million fewer people will sign up for Obamacare private insurance then previously forecast due to Trump adminstration policies.
Reuters healthcare editor, Michelle Gershberg.>> The Trump Administration has taken a number of steps that hamper the law's execution. They have cut advertising, for example, for the Obamacare open enrollment season by about 90%. They slashed funding to the groups that helped people sign up, navigate the website and sign up, and choose insurance, and they have also cut off billions of dollars in subsidy payments to help insurers.
>> President Donald Trump promised to kill Obamacare during his election campaign and has repeatedly attacked the program while in office.>> It's gonna come down and we're gonna have great healthcare in our country.>> Democrats claim if Obamacare's repealed, millions of Americans will be left without healthcare. But Congressional Republicans, time and time again, have tried to repeal and replace the plan which they claim drives up costs for consumers.
But their efforts have failed.>> So what we're seeing today, interestingly, is that former President Obama, himself a Democrat, has already taken to Facebook and to Twitter, promoting an ad saying, hey people, sign up for my program, sending them to the federal government's healthcare.gov website. This is in the absence, pretty much, of promotion from the Trump administration, which is running the website.
But he's trying to explain to people, don't be afraid, you're probably eligible for tax credit, you should find affordable insurance and here's the 1-800 number to call. On the flip side, the Republican National Committee has put out on ad for and on behalf of Donald Trump saying that the Democrats have blocked all of our efforts to repeal this law and replace it with something better.
So you really need to go after the Democrats and say why are you doing this, why are you preventing from getting more affordable healthcare.>> Regardless of lower enrolment estimates, the Congressional Budget Office is still predicting total enrolment to reach 11 million in 2018, up from the 10 million who signed up in 2017.