More than 21 million people have enrolled in the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces, a record high driven in part by states “unwinding” pandemic-era protections in Medicaid, according to the Biden administration. Enrollment numbers reflect an approximately 80% increase in sign-ups since President Biden took office in 2021 and expanded the subsidies available to consumers. The surge in enrollments comes amid former President Donald Trump’s vow to repeal the program if re-elected, despite the ACA’s growing popularity and the fact that around 6 in 10 Americans now have a favorable view of the program.
ACA Health Insurance Marketplaces Witness 21 Million Sign-Ups Under Biden Administration
The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces have seen sign-ups from over 21 million people, a record figure, announced by the Biden administration. This surge in enrollment occurs as former president Donald Trump reaffirms his motive to repeal the program if he regains the presidency.
ACA Sign-ups Reflect an 80% Increase
There has been a 5 million increase in sign-ups since last year, marking a third consecutive year of record enrollment. States rolling back pandemic-era protections in Medicaid have contributed to this growth. The surge also reflects an approximately 80 percent increase in ACA sign-ups since President Biden took office in 2021 and expanded consumer subsidies.
Public Opinion on the ACA
Biden stated that the public’s desire is to strengthen and protect the Affordable Care Act, not weaken or repeal it. According to KFF, a health policy research group, approximately 6 in 10 Americans now favor the program, compared to less than half of respondents between 2010 and 2017. Findings from polling by KFF reveal that 3 in 5 voters trust Democrats over Republicans to handle the future of the ACA.
Trump’s Continued Opposition Against ACA
Despite growing public favorability, Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, has continued to attack the health program. In a November 2023 post on his social media platform, Truth Social, Trump reiterated his intention to replace the ACA, which he called “Obamacare,” with a superior health care plan.
Biden’s Efforts to Expand the ACA
The Biden administration has taken steps to make the ACA more accessible. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 expanded the number of people eligible for ACA health plan subsidies by roughly 20 percent. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 extended these subsidies, making ACA health plans more affordable. As a result, about 80 percent of shoppers on the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces can find coverage for less than $10 per month.
Republican Criticism of the ACA’s Generosity
However, Republicans argue that the program has grown too generous with its subsidies. According to researchers at the Paragon Health Institute, a conservative health policy think tank, the ACA’s popularity seems more like an indictment than a victory.