The name has a lot to do with it.
As part of his administration’s ongoing war against affordable health care, President Trump slashed Obamacare’s outreach and advertising budget by 72% earlier this year. The administration hoped that by decreasing the public’s understanding of the law, it could lower enrollment in its health care exchanges.
But it appears as though its efforts have backfired. In the first four days since open enrollment in the program began on November 1, this year’s daily sign-up rate of 150,366 per day is far outpacing last year’s rate of 84,018.
According to Lori Lodes, co-founder of Get America Covered, the health care debate from earlier this year may have actually increased the public’s understanding of Obamacare’s benefits, leading to a surge of sign-ups. “The administration has caused a lot of anxiety for people over the last year when it comes to health care, but there’s also been a more in-depth conversation about what Obamacare really is about,” Lodes told NBC.
Image by Will O'Neill/Flickr
Late-night host, health care advocate, and vocal Trump critic Jimmy Kimmel did his part this week to promote the 2017 Obamacare enrollment period by asking Americans to sign up at Healthcare.gov — but he referred to it as “Trumpcare,” tongue firmly planted in cheek.
On Monday night, Kimmel apologized for critiquing the president and praised him for his Trumpcare program. “It also has a lot of good stuff in it,” Kimmel said. “It covers pre-existing conditions, it has no lifetime caps, you can keep your kids on it, and it’s surprisingly affordable.”
The next night, Kimmel read some of the positive feedback he’s received on Facebook from Trump supporters who praised him for his open-mindedness regarding the current president’s handling of the healthcare issue.
While Kimmel is having fun with the idea that Trump supporters will suddenly approve of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) just by changing its name, his point is rooted in reality. Polls have shown time after time that Republicans like nearly every provision in the bill, besides the healthcare mandate which makes the rest of the act financially feasible. And, as Kimmel has pointed out in the past, lots of people don’t like Obamacare simply because of its name.