Oba­macare sign-ups surge de­spite Trump

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - By Noam N. Levey noam.levey@la­times.com

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 health­care 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 Health­Care.gov 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 health­care law, many of whom feared that Pres­i­dent 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, in­clud­ing Cal­i­for­nia.

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