ObamaCare faces new crucial period starting on Wednesday after it survived nearly ten months of repeal attempts with Republicans in full control of Washington.
Millions of Americans will get a chance to shop for health insurance through Obamacare’s exchanges starting on Wednesday. This is the fifth open enrollment period since the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2013, NBC News reports.
It is no secret that Trump wants to completely kill the law and the Democrats say that the administration wants to sabotage it and think that because of that the number of enrollments will probably drop. The uninsured rate would then rise, and could hurt ObamaCare’s sustainability by leaving a smaller, sicker and costlier pool of enrollees, The Hill reports.
“There’s a renewed urgency that I haven’t seen in the past couple of years,” says Lori Lodes, a former Obama administration health official who runs Get America Covered.
In the past few months, Trump took several actions that could undermine the law and an influential analyst predicts that confusion from the actions would cause a drop in the number of enrollments for several million compared to the previous year. According to Charles Gaba, the number could fall to between 9.5 and 10 million people. Last year their number was 12.2 million.
Since ObamaCare went into full effect, the number of uninsured has dropped from around 45 to 28 million, but Gallup recently found that the rate has started to tick back up.
Trump’s administration is not planning to put out an enrollment goal this year, something that was a practice while Obama was in office. The current administration and the officials from the Department of Health and Human Services pushed back on the idea they are sabotaging the law. They say that ObamaCare was already flawed.
The administration has slashed funding for advertising and outreach by 90 percent and cut funding to navigators that help people enroll and the administration pushed back on the idea that the cuts are part of an effort to sabotage the law. The enrollment period this year is 45 days.