After President Donald Trump used an executive order to peel back pieces of Obamacare in October, some of the ensuing discussion circulated around what the actions could mean for enrollment in the Affordable Care Act marketplace. We got a look at a report compiling the year-end totals on Wednesday, and overall, it appears that the changes didn’t impact the 2017 enrollment period in the drastic way that many opponents of Trump’s order feared. Here in Texas, though, we saw some of the most significant drops of any state.
Sign-ups through the federal exchange fell 8.2 percent here last year, down to 1.13 million from about 1.23 million in 2016. Overall, U.S. enrollment dropped by about half a million people, or 3.7 percent. The numbers come from the National Academy for State Health Policy.
The Washington Post took a closer look, writing about the ways that state-run insurance exchanges impacted enrollment declines. The story is worth a read, but in short: they helped. Only 11 states plus Washington D.C. have their own exchanges, but the state-specific marketplaces spurred those states to level sign-ups last year. Among the reasons cited by the programs’ directors is the ability to keep enrollment open longer. Still, cuts related to the new tax law could make a deeper impact in coming years, the Post reported.