The first open enrollment season under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) closed last night, with the White House reporting today that more than 7 million Americans signed up via the national Marketplace website, Healthcare.gov, and state-sponsored exchanges.
Add to this the 6+ million new Medicaid enrollees, young adults who have stayed on their parents’ insurance, and the as yet unknown number of people who enrolled directly with private insurance providers, and we are seeing the number of Americans with coverage double or even triple. Plus, provisions baked into the law allow additional special enrollment for life changes and other circumstances.
In a speech today, President Obama celebrated what he described as the ACA’s accomplishments: more people covered at lower costs (on average) and diminishing health care costs overall.
Is Obamacare a success? It is still to early to tell, of course; true success will be measured in the next few years, as we correlate increased coverage with healthier outcomes. However, with more Americans finding access to more affordable health care options generally, I have fresh hope that calls to repeal the law will give way to pragmatic, realistic conversations about how Obamacare can be improved.
Here at New Healthy Texas, we continue to pursue policies that will result in coverage for all Americans, with a special focus on the 6+ million uninsured Texans, and the right kinds of health care services delivered at the right time by the right people.
Stay tuned for more about what we call ACA 2.0, smart changes to the Affordable Care Act that will make the ACA better for everyone – from patients to providers, and maybe even politicians.