Since November 1, to the astonishment and delight of health care advocates, the daily and weekly pace of Obamacare enrollment has been higher than in previous years.
But a new analysis by the health consulting firm Avalere shows that because the Trump administration slashed the length of open enrollment in half—from 90 to 45 days—signups are actually significantly depressed compared to this point in previous years.
Since taking office in January, the Trump administration has severed enrollment partnerships with hundreds of local and national groups, abruptly ended subsidies to insurance companies, scuttled efforts by Congress to pass a market stabilization bill, and eviscerated the budget for open enrollment outreach and in-person assisters. The President has also repeatedly declared Obamacare “finished … dead … gone,” spreading confusion about a law that very much remained on the books.
But the latest report from the Department of Health and Human Services, released on Wednesday, showed signups continuing at a brisk pace, with more than 2.7 million enrollees so far this year.
As Avalere calculated, however, that number is far below the number of enrollees—7 million—who had selected plans last year after this percentage of the enrollment period had elapsed.
Open enrollment ends this year on December 15.