One million Americans have signed up for health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act over the past week, according to Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.
— Sylvia Burwell (@SecBurwell) December 15, 2016
In total, according to HHS, more than 4 million people have signed up for health coverage since Nov. 1 – an increase of roughly a quarter million people over the same period last year.
The spike in enrollments comes as the deadline to sign up for insurance to start on Jan. 1, 2017 is Thursday.
It’s also likely the result of many Americans reacting to a Republican majority – and incoming president – that is gleefully preparing to repeal the Affordable Care Act and boot millions of people off their health insurance plans.
According to CNN, Trump and Republicans plan to move quickly to destroy Obama’s signature achievement – putting more than 20 million Americans at risk of losing health coverage – and could have a repeal bill on the incoming president’s desk just weeks into his presidency.
More from the report:
Ahead of Trump’s inauguration on January 20, Republicans are preparing to move as swiftly as possible to repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act in the next Congress. With control over both the House and the Senate — and soon the White House — dismantling the Affordable Care Act is the Republican Party’s most urgent priority for the new year.
But senior GOP congressional aides say getting a bill to Trump’s desk could take weeks, and even possibly a few months. It is not out of the question that the new president will have to wait until February or later to take pen to paper.
The only problem? Republicans aren’t sure what to replace it with. The GOP’s strategy on the health care law boils down to this: Repeal it first and figure out what to replace it with later.
The replace phase, CNN notes, is likely to be “complicated and drawn out” and there “may never be” an actual bill that replaces the historic health care reform legislation that Democrats fought to pass during Barack Obama’s presidency – turning back the clock to a time where millions more people were forced to go without insurance coverage.
This may be political Christmas for Republicans as they finally achieve their dream of erasing a major part of President Obama’s legacy, but there are millions of real Americans who count on this law simply to survive.
For them, and our country as a whole, January 20 will be the beginning of a dark era.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.