The Obama administration and its associates are brushing aside talk of Obamacare revoke as they barrel ahead with an important 2017 enrollment season, urging customers to sign up by Thursday to be covered by Jan. 1 and avoid penalties in the new year, even as Republicans promise relief from the law’s mandates in concert with President-elect Donald Trump.
The District of Columbia’s Obamacare website greets customers with a pop-up message that says the recent presidential election “doesn’t impact your ability to enroll in affordable quality health insurance for 2017.”
President Obama used his latest weekly address to sell his signature health law to fence-sitters, saying that Republicans intent on repealing his law should improve the existing system instead and that “one of the best ways to do that is make sure that you’re in it.”
Enroll America, a White House ally that works to enroll customers in Obamacare’s web-based exchanges, said the same numbers of people — if not more — are seeking appointments with in-person assisters as last year.
“Right now, nothing has changed,” said Jennifer Sullivan, vice president for operations, noting that they tell wary consumers: “Your concerns are valid and there is a lot of uncertainty right now, but one thing we can guarantee is you can enroll in health coverage.”
GOP leaders have said that writing budget instructions to fast-track legislation that guts Obamacare will be their first piece of business in January, after a November election in which voters suddenly handed Republicans the keys to health reform.
“Momentum is building,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said, referring to the expected rush before the Dec. 15 deadline to hold coverage on New Year’s Day.
Open enrollment lasts until Jan. 31, or 11 days after Mr. Trump is set to be sworn as president, underscoring the transitional nature of this sign-up season.