UNITED STATES NEWS

‘Obamacare’ sign-ups surge to 20 million, days before open enrollment closes

Jan 10, 2024, 1:01 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some 20 million people have signed up for health insurance this year through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, a record-breaking figure.

President Joe Biden will likely proclaim those results regularly on the campaign trail for months to come as former President Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, vows to dismantle the Obama-era program.

The Biden administration announced Wednesday morning that 20 million have enrolled for coverage on the marketplace, days before the open enrollment period is set to close on Jan. 16.

The latest enrollment projections mean a quarter more Americans have signed up for coverage this year compared to last — another record-breaking year when 16.3 million enrolled in the program. Signs-ups spiked after Biden took office, with Democrats rolling out a series of tax breaks that give millions of Americans access to low cost plans, some with zero-dollar premiums.

“We must build upon this progress and make these lower health care premiums permanent,” Biden said in a statement. “But extreme Republicans have blocked these efforts at every turn.”

The nation’s top health official on Wednesday credited piqued interest in the coverage with an aggressive campaign to get people enrolled. The administration has worked with nonprofits across the the country, including in predominately Black and Latino communities, like South Florida, to get new people into coverage. The administration has also invested millions more dollars into hiring navigators who help people enroll, a program that was decimated while President Donald Trump, a longtime critic of so-called “Obamacare,” was in office.

“The previous administration made no effort to let people know what they could get,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said during an interview with MSNBC’s “ Morning Joe.” “We’re out there, we’re not waiting for them to come to us. We’re going to them.”

But the increased enrollment news that the Biden administration celebrated on Wednesday has not come without cost. Some of the millions of new enrollees have only turned to the marketplace because they have been booted off Medicaid, the nearly free health care coverage offered to the poorest Americans or those with disabilities. The health plans they purchase through the marketplace will have higher premiums and copays for services.

Roughly an error-plagued process that has left thousands of children and pregnant women erroneously without health insurance coverage in some states.

Trump, meanwhile, is regularly threatening on the campaign trail to undo the Biden administration’s work on former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

“Obamacare is a catastrophe, nobody talks about it,” Trump said at a rally in Iowa on Saturday. The former president went on to criticize the late Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona for blocking GOP efforts to scuttle the law more than five years ago.

Although open enrollment for health insurance plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act ends on Jan. 16., people who have been removed from Medicaid may be eligible to enroll through the end of July.

United States News

Associated Press

Officer who fatally shot Kawaski Trawick 5 years ago won’t be disciplined, police commissioner says

NEW YORK (AP) — Two New York City police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Kawaski Trawick inside his Bronx apartment five years ago will not face internal discipline, the city’s police commissioner, Edward Caban, announced Friday. In a statement, Caban said the officers, Brendan Thompson and Herbert Davis, “acted within the law” in […]

1 minute ago

Associated Press

Dallas doctor convicted of tampering with IV bags linked to co-worker’s death and other emergencies

DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas anesthesiologist was convicted Friday for injecting a nerve-blocking agent and other drugs into bags of intravenous fluid at a surgical center where he worked, which led to the death of a co-worker and caused cardiac emergencies for several patients, federal prosecutors said. A jury convicted Raynaldo Riviera Ortiz Jr., 60, […]

52 minutes ago

Associated Press

Maine governor signs bill restricting paramilitary training in response to neo-Nazi’s plan

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A bill to restrict paramilitary training in Maine in response to a neo-Nazi who wanted to create a training center for a “blood tribe” was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills on Friday. The law, which the governor signed without public comment, allows the attorney general to file for […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

New York county loses bid to prevent state legal challenge of its ban on female transgender athletes

NEW YORK (AP) — A county outside New York City has lost its bid to block the state from taking legal action against its ban on women’s and girls teams that include female transgender players, state Attorney General Letitia James said Friday. U.S. District Court Judge Nusrat Choudhury dismissed Nassau County’s lawsuit seeking to prevent […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Urgent care worker accused of sexual assaults while claiming falsely to be a nurse in Philly suburbs

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A dozen additional victims have told police they were victimized by a medical assistant who falsely said he was nurse when they sought treatment in recent months at an urgent care facility outside Philadelphia, police said in filing new sexual assault charges. Ramon Garcia, 33, was accused on Thursday of two […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

California man sentenced to 40 years to life for fatal freeway shooting of 6-year-old boy

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A California man was sentenced Friday to 40 years to life for the fatal shooting of a 6-year-old boy who was riding in the back of his mother’s car on the freeway, prosecutors said. Marcus Eriz, now 27, was sentenced in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana for killing […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

‘Obamacare’ sign-ups surge to 20 million, days before open enrollment closes