Obamacare signups reach record high day after election

A day after the U.S. election on Tuesday, more than 100,000 Americans signed up for a health plan through one of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, making it the most popular day since open enrollment began at the beginning of November.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell took to Twitter to announce the new numbers:

Only included in the 100,000 figure are consumers that filled out an application and choose between different plans offered. Around 20 million Americans currently have Obamacare, according to government records. That number is expected to rise by the conclusion of open enrollment at the end of January 2017.

The large number of sign ups occurred less than 24 hours after Donald Trump was declared the winner of the presidential election. On the campaign trail the Republican candidate had promised to repeal and replace the current healthcare system. The president-elect has yet to provide a fleshed-out plan regarding what new system he would then implement.

However, in an elusive interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump seemed to soften his stance. Instead of insisting he will completely scrap Obamacare, he suggested he was open to the possibility of amending the law.

“I told him I will look at his suggestions, and out of respect, I will do that,” Trump said in reference to his White House meeting with President Obama last week.

“Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced,” he continued.

The Obama administration pointed to the new signup numbers as proof that people like the system that is already in place.

“That’s an indication of the success of the program when you consider the intense demand that people have for these services and for these opportunities . . . and [they] are only available because of the Affordable Care Act,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Again, as with any new administration, but especially this once, Americans will have to wait until January to see what policy initiatives our new president will make a priority, and which laws he will leave in place.

 

[USA Today] [Wall Street Journal] [CBS News] [Photo courtesy AP via PennLive]