On Wednesday, the Obama administration confirmed that 6.4 million people went to the Healthcare.gov website and enrolled for private health insurance coverage with a subsidized premium. In 2015, there were about 6 million people who signed up. Therefore, 400,000 additional people have signed up for this coverage in comparison to last year.
This news might sound surprising or maybe it doesn’t. The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” seems to be in real trouble. We’ve already heard that healthcare premiums on the Health Care Marketplace are going to rise in 2017. Not only that, there are fewer insurers who want to participate in the exchange which means there are fewer healthcare plan options available. And, of course, President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare as soon as he’s sworn into office.
However, it looks like people have not been swayed by all the bad publicity and threats surrounding the Affordable Care Act. The Department of Health and Human Services says the Obama administration still has a goal of 13.8 million sign-ups by the end of the year. They are almost half way there right now, so about 7 million more people would need to register by the January 31st deadline.
The good news is that even if President-elect Trump and the Republicans in Congress decide to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it would likely take many years before it actually affects those who are covered right now. The only chance they can have of keeping their coverage is if President-elect Trump ends up changing his mind about repealing Obamacare. Since his proposed policies always feel inconsistent, he may very well just amend the Affordable Care Act rather than repeal the entire thing. After all, there are millions of people who are benefiting from it and he certainly wouldn’t want to just take away their health insurance entirely. So, hopefully he really has “something terrific” to replace Obamacare with.