Throughout all 2017, one of the main goals of the Trump administration and the Republican party has been to undermine the Affordable Care Act at all costs. But despite President Trump's efforts, more than 8.8 million people signed up for Obamacare health plans for 2018.
The enrollment numbers surpassed all expectations, especially when considering the Trump administration cut the Obamacare sign up period in half, spent way less money on advertising the enrollment season, and shut down the ACA website for maintenance for 12 hours nearly every Sunday.
According to a snapshot shared by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Thursday, the preliminary figures show that the number of people who signed up for Obamacare was just 400,000 fewer than the total of consumers who signed up during the prior enrollment period. (That means this year's tally makes up about 95% of the total of people who signed up between November 2016 and January 2017 for coverage this year.)
Around 4.1 million people signed up in the final week of the enrollment season and at least one million of those who enrolled during those days were new customers.
Larry Levitt, senior vice president of special initiatives at the Kaiser Family Foundation, called the number of enrollees "truly remarkable" in a tweet Thursday, adding that he was very surprised at the turnout.
He added, "That didn't seem possible with a 90% reduction in outreach, an enrollment period cut in half, and a constant refrain that the program is dead."
The numbers shared by the CMSS are not final, since they only take into account the 39 states that use the healthcare.gov website and do not include Americans who signed up on Friday December 15 after midnight Eastern Time, and consumers who were in line to enroll and left their contact information behind.