Enrolments for Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare continue to rise as people are signing-up in droves for the individual health coverage it offers. Although, the Republicans are still trying to derail the ACA, the number of people registering for the health insurance policy has surged in the first few weeks since enrolment opened on Nov. 18, 2017.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the number of people signing up in the first 18 days for Obamacare has surpassed the figure of previous year, with almost 2.3 million enrolments till Nov. 26, 2017. The enrolment period ends on Dec. 15, 2017.
The Trump administration has been continuously trying to repeal the Obamacare for the past 10 months. Rising premiums and regular exits of insurers along with a perpetual attempt to subjugate the act in the Congress— to make it completely redundant—kept the imbroglio burning. Despite this, the sheer volume of people signing up for the policy has surprised several experts.
Trump still against Obamacare
Employing all the recourses at his disposal, President Donald Trump seems steadfast in his resolve to do away with the Obamacare. Recently, when the Republican tax cut bill was signed into law, he vowed again to bring down the act. “Obamacare premiums are going up, up, up, just as I have been predicting for two years. Obamacare is OWNED by the Democrats, and it is a disaster,” he tweeted.
Earlier, an executive order signed by the President directed agencies to loosen Obamacare rules. He also slashed the dollars spent on advertising and outreach programs by up to 90 percent. Further, the Trump administration reduced the open enrolment period by cutting it into half, thus ending it in the middle of December, instead of January 2018.
In addition, in October 2017, the current administration cut off key subsidy payments to insurers as a measure to bring down deductibles for people belonging to the low-income group. The Republicans argued that the cuts were detrimental and sabotaged the law.
Skeptics not reading too much into enrolment surge
Although the first few days of the enrolment saw a huge turnout, several experts were doubtful of anything worthwhile and advised not to go by the early numbers. Several factors could weigh down enrolment this year, they argued, as there are very few days left before the enrolment period is over. Had the enrolment period been the same as previous years, there would not have been any apprehensions about the numbers.
However, the negative publicity and the tussle that continued over the last few months between the Trump administration and the supporters of Obamacare surely helped in raising people’s curiosity. Since it kicked up enough dust, more people became aware of the pros and cons of the act, helping them take a quick, yet informed decision.
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