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Trump Budget Cuts Could Leave Arizona With Less Money For ACA Enrollment

Arizona could soon have less money to help people sign up for the Affordable Care Act.

Last week, the Trump administration announced it would cut the enrollment budget for navigators, the people who provide assistance to consumers buying plans on the marketplace.

That came as a surprise to Allen Gjersvig.

 “We were told over and over again you are doing a great job. We don’t see any problems on the horizon,” said Gjersvig, head of Navigator & Enrollment services at the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers.

Gjersvig’s job is to distribute that federal money to more than a dozen community groups, which then encourage people to sign up during open enrollment.

Now the grant will be calculated differently — based on whether organizations reached their enrollment goals set last year, before the election

Gjersvig said he still doesn’t know “when we will find out what amount we will have available, what that amount is, the formula that was used to calculate it.”

The grant was supposed to have begun on Sept. 2, but it’s unclear whether the funding will be retroactive.

Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.