ACA Signups Drop 4% From Last Year

Democrats, Republicans immediately resume blame game.

Preliminary figures indicate that ACA enrollment this year, which ran from November 1 to December 15, seems to have dropped off from last year. The Wall Street Journal reports that about 8.5 million health plans have been selected on the Obamacare exchanges, and that’s 4% less than last year.

Democrats and Republicans immediately began pointing fingers at each other, with Democrats (who mostly support the bill) saying that Republicans (who mostly oppose it) have been successful in sabotaging the ACA. Republicans counter that not as many people signed up this year because of premium hikes under a law they view as intrinsically flawed.

Meanwhile, CMS administrator Seema Verma weighed in, saying that a stronger economy means more people are working and therefore are getting coverage through employer-sponsored plans. Perhaps that’s what’s at work.

The numbers are preliminary, and states that run their own ACA exchanges have a longer enrollment period so there may be more ACA beneficiaries on the way.

A ruling last week by a federal district judge that invalidates the ACA came right before the busiest signup days and that might have dampened spirits.

That ruling will most likely be appealed, so the ultimate fate of the ACA will play out in the courts. And as former President Obama said in a Facebook posting, that means that the ACA, in one form or another, may be around for years.