Cornyn Says Tax Bill Mandate Repeal Makes Obamacare 'Unworkable'

Javier Stokes
December 26, 2017

According to our media partners at The Baltimore Sun, about 150,000 people in Maryland have signed up for insurance in 2018 under the law.

"Things ended fast and furious", said Stacy Stanford, a policy analyst with the nonprofit Utah Health Policy Project, which helps people sign up for insurance.

Some 195,000 Utahns signed up for health insurance under Obamacare for 2018 - almost matching last year's number, when the enrollment period was twice as long, the Trump administration reported Thursday.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Thursday it spent "just over $1 per enrollee on outreach and education for Exchange coverage compared to almost $11 per enrollee previous year".

CMS said 8.8 million people signed up nationally, slightly down from 9.2 million in last year's enrollment period, which was twice as long.

With the mandate going away, it becomes a vicious cycle of rising premiums and people dropping out of the insurance pools, she said.

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It's possible that final HealthCare.gov numbers could end up somewhat higher than reported Thursday, partly because late sign-ups in the Midwest and the West have yet to be added in. On top of that, the Trump administration cut enrollment season in half, slashed the ad budget, terminated major payments to insurers, and scaled back grants for consumer counselors. The state extended the enrollment period by one week after initially agreeing to a shortened, 45-day period set by the Trump administration.

Another measure eroding the law came with the GOP tax overhaul bill passed Wednesday, which in 2019 removes a mandate that most Americans either sign up for health insurance or pay a penalty.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for "serious case of amnesia" after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don't want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE also said this week that repealing the individual mandate meant that Republicans had "essentially repealed ObamaCare".

In the editorial "GOP's dubious achievement" (Dec. 21), it was stated that the bill will "cost 13 million their health insurance".

SelectHealth, meanwhile, boosted its Utah enrollment by roughly 30,000 customers heading into 2018.

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