On New Year’s Eve, Health and Human Services released a statement detailing the amount of people who have gotten coverage under the ACA since enrollment began on October 1st. To the dismay of Republicans everywhere, the numbers were not only extremely encouraging, they were nearly astronomical. Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator for Medicare and Medicaid Services, posted the following statement to the HHS website:
Since the beginning of open enrollment, millions of Americans are gaining access to health coverage-many for the very first time—thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The most recent data indicate that more than 2.1 million people have enrolled in a private health insurance plan through the Federal and State-based Marketplaces since October 1.
Both states and the federal government have seen a surge in enrollment in December. Our HealthCare.gov enrollment nearly doubled in days before the January 1 coverage deadline compared to the first weeks of the month. Nationwide, including state and federal marketplaces, December enrollment so far is nearly 6 times that of October and November combined.
We expect these numbers to continue to grow through the end of March when open enrollment ends.
Additionally, 3.9 million Americans learned they’re eligible for coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in October and November. These numbers include new eligibility determinations and some Medicaid and CHIP renewals.
We are encouraged that over 6 million people have been enrolled in Marketplace or Medicaid coverage since October 1, and will work to give millions more Americans the peace of mind that comes with health security in the months ahead.
Earlier in the week, it was already revealed that 1.1 million people had enrolled in private insurance plans on the federal exchange. As the statement revealed, another million were able to use state exchanges to sign up for an insurance plan while nearly four million people found out that they were now eligible for Medicaid, meaning that as working poor, they now can receive good, free health care and be able to see a doctor on a regular basis. No more utilizing the emergency room as their primary caregiver.
With another three months left in the open enrollment period, it is likely that millions and millions of more Americans are going to get covered. With the federal website running smoothly and the news that millions of their fellow Americans have received either free health care or an affordable private insurance plan, even the skeptical out there will finally realize it is better to get good health coverage than avoid it because of political reasons. The sad reality for the GOP is not only is the ACA here to stay, but it will now become something that they cannot demonize Democrats for, as too many people are, or will be, seeing the overwhelming positive benefits of it.