The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released preliminary data on the recently-concluded shortened open enrollment period for Americans to obtain health insurance through the health insurance marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act: over 8.8 million Americans will now be insured in 2018, including nearly 2.4 million Americans who did not use the marketplace in 2017. These numbers are particularly impressive given the shortened 7-week open enrollment period, a 90% reduction in marketing and outreach activities, a 41% reduction in contracts for community navigators to assist individuals with the enrollment process, and the continued political attacks on the ACA by the White House and political appointees at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services who are statutorily charged with implementing the law.

Not surprisingly, the press release issued by CMS downplays the number of Americans benefitting from the ACA-established health insurance marketplace, and instead focuses on the cost savings in reducing the expenditures on marketing and outreach, and highlights data on wait times to the call center.

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