Health

8.8 M. Enroll In Obamacare, Nearly Matching Last Year

WASHINGTON, D.C.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), nearly 9 million people had signed up for Obamacare by this year’s Dec. 15 enrollment deadline.

Despite, a significantly shortened enrollment period this year for Obamacare exchanges, the sign-ups almost matched last year’s enrollment of 9.2 million.

The CMS reported approximately 8.8 million people enrolled during the six-week open enrollment period in the 39 states that use the federal healthcare.gov website. The agency said in the final week, more than 4.1 million people enrolled, with more than 1 million being new customers.

“This is a remarkable result given the administration’s efforts to sabotage enrollment by gutting outreach, creating chaos and confusion, cutting off subsidies for low-income families and shortening the enrollment period by six weeks,” Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement.

“Today’s enrollment numbers make clear that the American people want access to high quality, affordable health insurance coverage, and they want Congress and the Administration to stop playing games with our health care system,” he continued.

In addition to reducing the enrollment period to six-weeks, the Trump administration also slashed its budget for outreach and advertising by 90 percent. The administration also cut funds for outside groups that help reach and enroll likely ObamaCare consumers by 41 percent.

The final enrollment numbers will include people who enrolled late at night, in the last minutes of open enrollment, and those who left their contact information at the ObamaCare call center due to high volume.

Also, final reports from many states that operate their own exchanges are forthcoming.

Further, people in states impacted by hurricanes Irma, Harvey, Maria and Nate have until Dec. 31 to enroll.

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When the final figures are compiled, they could surpass the 12 million total people who signed up last year.

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