by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Former Obama administration officials and Obamacare supporters are blaming President Trump’s brand new administration for lower enrollment on healthcare.gov, and say Trump’s new team pulled ads aimed at getting more people to sign up.
But the Trump administration and one expert say it is unclear how that move affected enrollment, and say higher premiums and fewer plan choices are the cause of lower numbers.
The blame game is being played out in response to lower enrollment figures that healthcare.gov reported Friday. The Trump administration reported that 9.2 million people signed up for health insurance under Obamacare, reflecting 3 million new users. That’s below the 9.6 million that signed up on healthcare.gov for 2016’s coverage year, though the new numbers don’t include data from the 12 state-run exchanges, which will be released this month.
There was a noticeable dip in the number of signups in the last few weeks, when the ad pullout took effect.
Over the last two weeks of open enrollment, 376,260 people signed up. That’s about half the 686,708 people that signed up in the last week of the 2016 open enrollment, and supporters of the law say the Trump administration were a major reason for the drop.