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More Than 100,000 Sign Up to be Covered Under Affordable Care Act Day After Election

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A record-breaking number of people signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Wednesday, November 9, the day following the presidential election. According to Sylvia Burwell, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, more than 100,000 people signed up for coverage during yesterday’s open enrollment — the ACA’s highest day of enrollment in 2017.

Both president-elect Donald Trump and the Republican party have said repeatedly that repealing the ACA, also known as Obamacare, will be a top priority of the new administration.

The ACA, in addition to allowing individuals to buy health insurance through state-run marketplaces, sets up a number of protections for people with disabilities and chronic conditions. These protections include:

  • Insurers can no longer deny you coverage based on any pre-existing conditions you may have.
  • Young people, those under the age of 26, can stay on their parent’s insurance plan.
  • It’s easier for millions of people to qualify for and enroll in Medicaid, allowing people who haven’t been able to afford their own coverage to enroll in a government-based program.
  • Women can no longer be charged a higher premium than men.

Both Trump and the Republican party have also stated that these protections will be repealed with the ACA – despite Trump’s previous statements during the Republican debates that he would keep the provision protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

It is still too early to tell what the Trump administration will replace the ACA with. According to a plan put forward today by Trump’s transition team, the ability to control health insurance plans will be returned to the states, and federal mandates under the ACA will be overturned. The president-elect’s plan also includes establishing high-risk pools for people with significant medical expenses.

At a White House news briefing this afternoon, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told the press, “[The Obama administration] would be focused on … maximizing the opportunity that currently is available for millions of Americans to go to during the open enrollment period and sign up for healthcare.”

If the ACA is repealed, people will not lose their coverage overnight. A bill was passed by Congress last October, and ultimately vetoed by President Obama, that looked to dismantle the ACA by 2017 – approximately two years from the potential passage of the bill.

The Mighty will continue covering healthcare under the Trump administration and will provide more information as soon as it becomes available. For updates, you can follow Jordan Davidson, our news editor, on The Mighty, as well as on Twitter, for updates when news articles come out. 

Originally published: November 10, 2016
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