A record number of people signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act for the coming year, Barack Obama’s administration announced Wednesday, with the most people selecting coverage in states that Donald Trump won in November.
Some 6.4 million people signed up by the mid-December deadline — 400,000 more enrollees than the same period last year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
In a twist, the states with the most people selecting coverage all went for Trump in the presidential election: Florida, with just under 1.3 million selections; Texas, with about 776,000; North Carolina, with 369,077; Georgia, with 352,000; and Pennsylvania, with 290,950.
Those tallies do not include states that created their own digital health insurance exchanges, like New York and California, instead of using the federal government’s HealthCare.gov website.
The enrollment numbers include new subscribers (2.05 million) and returning consumers who had to renew their coverage and were not automatically enrolled. The tallies do not yet include automatic enrollments, which will be added to the total later.
HHS Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell did not directly attribute the spike to the election of Trump, who has promised to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” but noted that more than 30,000 people have called HHS operators “worrying about the future of coverage in the wake of the election.”
Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Burwell said officials have been assuring consumers that “Obamacare” remains the law of the land through the 2017 calendar year and that people will be guaranteed coverage at least until then under the existing law.