Health law sign-ups seen as falling short though more enrol
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WASHINGTON — Americans are signing up in growing numbers for the Affordable Care Act's subsidized health insurance, the government said Wednesday. But with
About 3.6 million people signed up through Dec. 2 in states served by the federal HealthCare.gov
But it may not be enough. Why not? This year's open
Barring an unusually strong final surge, experts say it's unlikely that
It's been a tumultuous year for the health care program passed under former President Barack Obama. The law expanded coverage and helped drive the nation's uninsured rate to a historic low of about 9
Still, the Trump administration cut the
Disappointing sign-ups will set off another round of political blame over health care, with Democrats accusing the administration of "sabotage" and Republicans saying "Obamacare" is deeply flawed. Trump says it's "imploding."
"It's almost certain
That feeds a vicious cycle of rising premiums, lower
There are some caveats, including factors that tend to raise
— The latest numbers are just for the 39 states served by the federal health insurance
— The final figure could also be raised by the number of people automatically re-enrolled in the plan they had for this year. That statistic isn't revealed until the very end of sign-up season.
Former Obama administration official Lori Lodes said she believes if sign-up season hadn't been cut short, the ACA would have surprised naysayers with a strong performance.
"The demand is just so big this year, but there's little time left," Lodes said.
But the Trump administration is defending its decision to shorten open
Spokesman Nathan Bult said a shorter
The shorter period also nudges healthy procrastinators who might have tried to sign up later on to
But independent analyst Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation said the administration cut promotional advertising too deeply even as it made a big deadline change for consumers.
"Where the Trump administration deserves some blame is the combination of a shorter open