Obamacare Enrollment Drops 💊

 Paul Hennessy / Polaris / Newscom

Paul Hennessy / Polaris / Newscom

Not as hot as last year

The open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act plans (aka Obamacare) ends on December 15th. The open enrollment period is the window within which Americans can buy into health insurance plans for 2019. Halfway through the enrollment period, signups are down 11% compared to last year.

The options are more attractive

The decline is surprising since plan premiums have declined this year (the first time ever), subsidies for low-income Americans have risen, and markets that previously had few ACA plans available now have more options.


LEANING LEFT:

NY Mag: Obamacare Is Still Going Strong, Despite Trump’s Sabotage Campaign

Politico: Trump may finally be undermining Obamacare

The left blames Trump for the decline and argues that he has actively undermined Obamacare by scaling back outreach and education. Only 1 in 4 who buy their own health insurance or are uninsured are aware that the enrollment period ends on 12/15. In addition, Trump has shorted the open enrollment period.

LEANING RIGHT:

Fox News: Obamacare's sign-ups drop amid Trump administration efforts, booming economy

The Hill: Top Dems blame 'sabotage' as ObamaCare enrollment slows

The right sees the decline in enrollments as a result of a strong economy - which they attribute to Trump’s policies. Articles argue that, with lower unemployment, many workers who previously purchased ACA health plans are likely now covered by employer plans.


So what's causing the decline?

A number of factors. Yes, American's are likely jumping onto employer plans as the unemployment rate drops (as the right states). And yes, the current administration isn't exactly supporting/rooting for more sign ups (as the left states). In addition, Congress repealed the individual mandate, which required Americans to get insurance or get fined. All of these combined provide an explanation for the 11% drop.

In Canada...

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