Analysts thought President Trump’s decision to cut the open enrollment period in half would make it difficult, if not impossible, to match last year’s figure of 98,780 Kansans enrolled.
But when the dust settled after the Dec. 15 enrollment deadline, Kansas had enrolled 98,919.
Missouri’s total of 245,580 enrolled also beat last year’s number, by about 1,000 people.
Nationwide the ACA enrolled about 8.8 million, just short of last year’s total of about 9.2 million.
Some 8.8 million people have signed up for 2018 coverage on the federal exchange during an open enrollment season that was half the length of prior years and far less promoted, the Trump administration said Thursday. That’s only 400,000 fewer than signed up on healthcare.gov during open enrollment a year ago.
Nearly 2.4 million consumers were new to the exchanges, while more than 6.4 million continued their coverage during the period, which ran from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.
Traffic was heavy in the final days. More than 4.1 million people selected plans in the last five days, including those who were automatically renewed.
Obamacare survived the first year of President Donald Trump, but it’s badly damaged.
The sweeping Republican tax bill on the verge of final passage would repeal the individual mandate in 2019, potentially taking millions of people out of the health insurance market. On top of that, the Trump administration has killed some subsidies, halved the insurance enrollment period, gutted the Obamacare marketing campaign, and rolled out a regulatory red carpet for skimpy new health plans that will change the insurance landscape in ways that are harmful to former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
None of these individually represent a death blow. But in aggregate, the past year adds up to a slow, stealthy erosion of the law.
The injunction comes after state Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed a lawsuit against the administration, arguing the changes to the mandate undermine women’s health.
The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has roiled America since the day it was signed into law in 2010. From the start, the public was almost evenly divided between those who supported it and those who opposed it.
They still are. The November monthly tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 50 percent of those polled had a favorable view of the health law, while 46 percent viewed it unfavorably.
As part of their giant tax bill, Republicans in Congress are about to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Their objective is not sensible health care reform but rather insensible arithmetic that could satisfy the byzantine rules governing the Senate’s reconciliation process.
The purpose of the mandate is to evenly distribute risk among healthy and unhealthy Americans on the individual insurance market so that costs are shared and no one is left out.
Will killing the mandate ruin Obamacare exchanges? No, but it will transform them into an extended form of Medicaid by another name. Americans with subsidized policies will stay in the system, with help from the federal government.
Unsubsidized individuals, however, will be driven out of the market, because a repeal of the mandate will cause premiums on exchange plans to skyrocket as healthy people exit.