By: Leah Howard
Over 670,000 people enrolled in insurance on December 15th, however in many states the marketplace saw an extremely significant drop in enrollees in January. Florida saw a dramatic decrease in enrollees, while states such as Texas and New York have seen their busiest enrollment periods since 2008. On January 14th, President Obama’s administration released statistics on Affordable Care Act (ACA). A total of 8.8 million people signed up for coverage on HealthCare.gov – 100,000 more than at the same point last year. Many insurance agents claim that consumers have enrolled out of concern of the looming loss in coverage, while many have refrained from enrolling for the same reason.
There have been many proposed replacements, but they are complicated and would not cover as many people. The former chief executive of the federal marketplace, Kevin J. Counihan, claimed that the call center received thousands of calls from consumers who were worried that their kids would no longer be covered or that they would no longer receive treatment due to pre-existing conditions. At the end of January, Republican lawmakers stated in a meeting that they want a replacement for the Affordable Care Act by the Spring, however there is still not a consensus on what the replacement will look like. Much confusion occurred when President Trump stated that he wanted the repeal and replacement of the ACA to occur at the same time, rather than the delay that many Republicans were hoping for.
On February 10th, Georgia Representative Tom Price was confirmed as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services. The Secretary is expected to implement the repeal. During his confirmation hearing, Price stated that he wanted to “keep patients at the center of health care” and make sure “every single Americans has access to affordable health coverage.” Price’s proposed plan would add a tax credit component, encouraging tax-advantages health savings accounts and limiting tax deductions companies can take for providing insurance to employees.