President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to once again go after the Affordable Care Act, the law colloquially known as Obamacare.
Trump was apparently referring to a report from the Centres of Medicare and Medicaid Services released Monday. The report showed the number of people that signed up for insurance through the ACA’s individual insurance marketplaces but did not enact those plans, or pay their premiums.
“2 million more people just dropped out of ObamaCare,” Trump tweeted. “It is in a death spiral. Obstructionist Democrats gave up, have no answer = resist!”
According to CMS, 10.3 million Americans effectuated their coverage in February, meaning that they had paid their premiums to actually receive care. That was lower than the 12.2 million people that signed up for coverage during the 2016-2017 open enrollment period.
CMS Director Seema Verma, echoing Trump, used the study to make the case that this showed Obamacare’s shortcomings.
“Consumers are sending a clear message that cost and affordability are major factors in their decision to cancel or terminate coverage,” Verma said in a statement.
According to a CMS survey, the people that canceled or did not effectuate coverage typically had less financial assistance to pay for their plans and higher premiums than those who maintained their coverage.
The report also found that 46% of people who did not effectuate their coverage at all did so due to the cost of the plan.
At the same time, the report found that 49% of people who terminated their plan after paying for a month did so because they found coverage elsewhere, mainly through new employment or ageing into Medicare.
The drop-off is a common theme of the exchanges in recent years, but the approach from the Trump administration to the numbers is different than in years past.
“The dropout rate is very similar to last year, with some people failing to pay their premiums or finding alternative coverage after signing up during open enrollment,” Larry Levitt, senior vice president the Kaiser Family Foundation, told The Associated Press. “What’s new here is a new administration spinning numbers in a very different way from the last one.”
Trump is visiting Wisconsin on Tuesday, when will give a speech on the current state of healthcare in the US and meet with “victims of Obamacare” during his visit, the White House said.
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