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Obamacare Signups Skyrocket, Setting New Record In Sudden Surge

As President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress escalate their effort to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, a record number of people have signed up for Obamacare in the first few days of open enrollment this year compared to the same period in previous years.

Citing several sources close to the process, The Hill reports that more than 200,000 people selected a plan for 2018, compared to around 100,000 last year. More than 1 million people visited healthcare.gov that day, compared to around 750,000 last year.

The surge in sign-ups, which was confirmed by an administration official, comes despite fears from Democrats that enrollment would fall off due to the Trump administration’s cutbacks in outreach and advertising.

The new enrollment numbers beat Standard & Poor’s forecast, which last week predicted that enrollment could drop by as much as 1.6 million people below last year’s level of 12.2 million signups, in part due to uncertainty from the administration’s actions.

The Trump administration cut the enrollment period to about half as long this year, ending Dec. 15.

But the spike in sign-ups is some positive news for supporters of the health law who have been worrying about its fate under Republican control of Washington.

“The first few days of Open Enrollment for the Federal Health Insurance Exchange went smoothly,” said a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the health law. “The website performed optimally and consumers easily accessed enrollment tools to compare plans and prices.”

The administration cut the outreach budget by 90 percent and cut back on grants to outside groups called navigators that help people enroll. Despite the cuts, people are signing up in record numbers.

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