More than 12 million sign up for Obamacare even as Congress debates repeal
Ryan stresses Trump had a hand in GOP health care bill
March 15, 2017 11:53 AM
Jon Elswick/Associated Press
The federal government on Wednesday reported that more than 12 million people have signed up for coverage this year under former President Barack Obama’s health care law, even as the Republican-led Congress debates its repeal.
The 12.2 million figure nationwide does not include an additional 765,000 people signed up under an option in the Obama-era law called the Basic Health Plan, which is used by two states, New York and Minnesota. Counting those enrollees, total sign-ups approach 13 million people.
Pennsylvania saw 426,059 enrollees this year, compared with 412,347 enrollees in 2016, a total that includes 116,525 individuals new to the marketplace. Combined with the more than 700,000 state residents covered after the Medicaid program was expanded in 2015, state officials estimate that 1 in 10 Pennsylvanians under 65 are covered under the Affordable Care Act.
Federal officials estimate that about 75 percent of those returning to the marketplace this year will be able to find a plan with a monthly premium less than $100 a month after premium subsidies and other forms of financial assistance are considered.
While the number of Pennsylvanians covered grew slightly this year, the future of the ACA marketplace is very much in doubt. With majorities in both the Senate and House, Republican legislators have offered their own plan, the American Health Care Act, to replace the Affordable Care Act.
That bill has come under fire from Democrats, who say millions will lose coverage under its provisions, while some fellow Republicans believe it doesn’t go far enough in replacing the ACA.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is stressing that President Donald Trump had a hand in writing the beleaguered health care overhaul that Republican leaders hope to push through his chamber next week.
The Wisconsin Republican says there is room for “improvements and refinements.” But he says its major components will stay “intact” because the measure’s House GOP authors wrote it with Mr. Trump and Senate Republicans. Mr. Ryan spoke on the Fox Business Network.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette staff writer Steve Twedt contributed.