Nearly 9 million people have signed up for Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance plans across 39 states on the healthcare.gov website for 2018.
Though unexpected, the numbers nearly match 2017 levels. That means the plan is a major success despite the enrollment season being cut in half and Trump trying to undermine Obamacare at every turn.
In the week preceding the December 15 deadline, about 1 million people had enrolled, setting an all-time record for new consumer signups in one week.
The total count is 95% of enrollments recorded in 2017, a major validation for Obamacare.
What happens now?
Not much, other than the fact that the Trump administration must reconsider its position on Obamacare.
With such strong validation of the plan, the best (or worst) they can do is try to rip out parts of the plan, such as the GOP tax bill proposes with the individual mandate for health insurance.
That still leaves the individual mandate in effect for 2018, which means a steep tax fine if you don’t have health insurance.
Moreover, it still leaves several other things intact, such as Medicaid expansion in states that have implemented it, federal subsidies to help pay premiums and the individual insurance marketplace.
Despite what Trump said on Wednesday, Obamacare has NOT been repealed. One of its mandates has been neutralized, and other parts of it have been “sedated”, but the plan is not dead by any means.
Barring further congressional action against its tenets, Obamacare (ACA) will still be a major part of the country’s healthcare system for at least another year or two.
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