Health & Spirit

Obamacare sign-ups surge despite Trump

Noam N. Levey, Tribune Washington Bureau on

Published in Health & Fitness

WASHINGTON -- Large numbers of Americans signed up for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act in the first days of this year's open enrollment period, according to new federal figures that show Americans flocking to insurance despite the Trump administration's ongoing attacks on the health care law.

In the first four days of the 2018 enrollment period -- which began Nov. 1 -- more than 600,000 people selected health plans through the insurance marketplace, which serves residents of 39 states.

That represents a daily average of more than 150,000 sign-ups, outpacing the beginning of last year's open enrollment period under the Obama administration, when an average of 84,000 people a day signed up through the first 12 days of the enrollment period.

The pace of sign-ups cheered supporters of the health care law, many of whom feared that President Donald Trump's criticism of the law, coupled with major cuts in federal funding for advertising and outreach efforts, would depress enrollment.

At six weeks, the enrollment period is also only half as long this year, running until Dec. 15.


The new enrollment figures released Thursday do not include sign-ups in 11 states that operate their own marketplaces.

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