Republicans Counting on Lower ACA Enrollments 2018 to Repeal Obamacare

aca enrollments 2018
Credit: istockphoto.com/mybaitshop

Trump Tweets Repeal Plans as ACA Enrollments 2018 Open 

President Donald Trump is once again going after the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or “Obamacare,” to repeal part of it, if not all. The President urged Republicans in a tweet on Thursday morning to consider repealing the “individual mandate” in the Affordable Care Act. The tweet comes the same day as the ACA enrollments for 2018 opened.

Under the individual mandate, Americans are required to purchase healthcare insurance or instead pay a penalty. If the mandate is repealed, Americans would be free to buy or not buy health insurance. In other words, the government would be relieved of the burden to pay billions in subsidies, after many are expected to choose to not buy the insurance coverage.

It is estimated that the repeal could reduce the government’s budget deficit by about $400.0 billion. Most of these savings will result from lower Medicaid enrollments under which low-income Americans currently receive subsidized healthcare coverage.

Republicans Banking on Lower ACA Enrollments 2018

The ACA’s open enrollment period 2018 has opened today and will continue till December 15. This is the time when Americans can enroll into new healthcare coverage or make changes to their old plans.

Some analysts fear that Obamacare will see lower-than-expected enrollments this year, allowing Republicans to use it as a justification to repeal the healthcare plan.

The Senate Republicans have repeatedly been trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act but have so far failed to build consensus on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration found another way to subvert the Affordable Care Act by slashing its advertising budget. Obamacare advertising has been an effective way to get Americans to sign up for healthcare insurance during the open enrollment period every year. This year, however, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be spending much less on advertising as the federal government slashes its funding.

Initiatives like cutting ad spending and killing the “individual mandate” will allow Republicans to underhandedly suppress Obamacare to the point where very low ACA enrollments 2018 may no longer warrant the plan’s need or existence. This will pave a smooth way to an Obamacare repeal.

Sources

Repeal of ACA’s Individual Mandate Could Be Part of Tax Overhaul,” The Wall Street Journal, November 01, 2017.

With Obamacare ad dollars slashed, expect lower enrollment,” Marketplace, October 30, 2017.

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