President Donald Trump seemed to indicate on Wednesday that Obamacare was dead. “We’ve essentially repealed Obamacare,” he said, while discussing the tax reform bill that eliminates the individual health-care mandate.
But the numbers pouring in from 39 states are telling a vastly different story.
HealthCare.gov enrollments closed with a fantastic surge of new customers, putting Obamacare on pace to possibly match last year’s figures despite all Republican efforts to shut it down.
8.8 million Americans have signed up for coverage in 39 states relying on HealthCare.gov, according to numbers made public on Thursday. Some state-run insurance marketplaces are also allowing sign-ups to continue.
The developments are being hailed as significant by proponents of the health care law, with experts saying it will make GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare much more difficult in the days to come.
The administration even slashed the sign-up period and other resources concerning the law this year, but to no avail.
“In spite of all of their demagoguery, in spite of all of their attacks against the Affordable Care Act, record numbers are coming forward to enroll,” said U.S. House representative Jim McGovern.
“That tells you something. It tells you that people want it.”
Brand new customers account for 2.4 million of the enrollments. Over a million new customers signed up in the final 6 days of the allotted enrollment period.
Trouble may still loom on the horizon. More from Politico:
Skyrocketing premiums this year — which insurers attributed to sicker-than-expected customers and uncertainty about Republican repeal efforts — likely deterred some potential customers, particularly those earning too much to qualify for financial assistance. But the strong sign-up figures demonstrate the power of federal health insurance subsidies, which the vast majority of customers on the Obamacare marketplaces receive.
The looming repeal of the individual mandate as part of the GOP’s tax overhaul, which would take effect in 2019, will likely leave the Obamacare insurance marketplaces on shakier ground. Without a requirement to purchase insurance, fewer people are expected to sign up, particularly the younger and healthier customers who help insurers offset the costs of covering the sick.