When President Trump and Republican leaders signed a sweeping health care bill into law in March, the Trump administration was promising to provide universal coverage to every American by 2025.
In the months since, however, the American Health Care Act has faced multiple challenges: It has failed to get the GOP-controlled House and Senate to support its insurance market reforms; it has struggled to pass its $1.4 trillion spending plan and the tax overhaul it is trying to pass; and it has faced major setbacks in the courts.
With each passing day, more of the country seems to be learning the hard way that the ACA was supposed to provide coverage for everyone, not just the sick.
As of Tuesday, coverage for more than 4 million Americans had been canceled and 2.3 million people had received new health insurance because of new rules designed to limit access to the new health plans.
The latest numbers were released by the Department of Health and Human Services, the government agency that manages insurance coverage for millions of Americans.
It found that on average, fewer than half of the people who enrolled in Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in the second half of this year had been able to enroll in coverage in the first half of 2019, a steep drop from the roughly one-third of enrollees who had been in coverage before the health law’s open enrollment period began.
In some cases, the number of people who were able to sign up has declined even as the number who enrolled has risen.
A person who had health insurance in the open enrollment season but ended up canceling the plan was among those who received cancellation notices, the HHS said.
The number of cancellations of the expanded Medicaid coverage, known as COBRA, in March was lower than the number in January and February, but the drop in March represents a steep decline.
By comparison, the first four months of 2018 were among the most active months in the enrollment period, according to the HHS.
In January, more than 6 million people were enrolled in COBSA.
A key reason for the drop: The Trump administration’s decision to stop requiring insurers to provide a benchmarking service to help determine who would qualify for subsidies under the health care law.
The decision by the Trump Administration to discontinue this benchmarking system, known for a few years as the benchmarking exchange, has led insurers to slash prices and lower deductibles for consumers.
A March analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that the number for COBRS was at an all-time low of 4,965 people.
The Trump Administration did not respond to a request for comment from The Washington Times.
But the agency has already faced criticism for other changes to the Affordable Care Act, including the decision to scrap a requirement that people with pre-existing conditions be enrolled in the health insurance exchanges.
While those changes were announced during the open market, they took effect in March of this years.
And while the HHS announced the cancellation of about 1 million people who had bought insurance before March of 2019 and who had applied for coverage on March 1, the agency is also saying that about 10,000 people who received new insurance after the March 1 deadline are still enrolled in plans that have not yet been canceled.
On Tuesday, HHS announced that more than 11,000 of those 11,067 enrollees are on COBARs, meaning they have received the new, subsidized coverage in their state of residence.
But some of those people were also in the same insurance market before the open-enrollment period, and some of them have continued to be enrolled.
In other words, the administration’s latest numbers suggest that some people who are already enrolled in insurance plans are not yet able to move forward.
Some of those enrollees have said they will keep signing up for new insurance plans to help ensure that they can continue enrolling in COBs.
The enrollment rate of people without health insurance has increased from more than 50 percent in March to more than 60 percent in early April, according for example to the Kaiser report.
Those with pre-, moderate- and high-cost plans have increased their enrollment from just over 4 million to more like 6 million.
The Kaiser report also noted that there is a growing pool of uninsured Americans who are not covered by COBs and are being forced to pay premiums that are higher than the tax credits they are receiving.
And as the health reform debate continues to rage, the enrollment rate for those with pre-’07 insurance is likely to remain high for many more years.
If the number continues to rise, it could result in higher costs for the health system as it tries to maintain its finances and attract more patients to the hospitals, clinics and other facilities that have been the primary beneficiaries of the ACA.
This year has also seen a spike in opioid deaths in states like Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.
The opioid epidemic in many of these states has been largely fueled by the opioid drug fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that has been linked to several deaths.
In recent weeks,