More than 100,000 Georgians have selected health coverage through the Obamacare insurance exchange since open enrollment began Nov. 1, federal data released Wednesday shows.
Nationwide, 2.1 million Americans have signed up for coverage through HealthCare.gov, more than had signed up at this time last year, said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “I hear from people across the country just how much coverage matters to them.”
But what will actually become of that coverage under the administration of President-elect Donald Trump is unclear. Earlier this week, Trump announced Georgia U.S. Rep. Tom Price, an orthopaedic surgeon and critic of the Affordable Care Act, as his pick for top health official.
The prominent Republican has been at the center of congressional efforts to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law and has previously proposed a replacement plan that favors tax credits based on age that people could then use to buy private health insurance.
Democrats and Obamacare proponents say a full repeal of the law could put 20 million Americans — including hundreds of thousands of Georgians — at risk of losing coverage. But critics say the law is too expensive and simply unsustainable.
The health insurance exchanges are aimed at individuals and families who don’t get coverage through their employers. Many qualify for federal tax credits, based on income, that help make coverage more affordable.
In 2016, nearly 588,000 Peach State residents signed up for plans through the ACA health insurance exchange — up 9 percent from the previous year.
Open enrollment for 2017 coverage runs through Dec. 15.