A record number of participants––more than 200,000––signed up for Obamacare on Nov. 1, the day open enrollment began, according to one administration official. That's more than double the number of sign-ups compared to the same period in previous years. The official also confirmed that more than 1 million people visited HeathCare.gov, the official federal website, a 33 percent increase in traffic compared to 2016.
The surge in sign-ups is a boon for Democrats, who feared the Trump administration's decision to cut back outreach and advertising would kill the program. According to The Hill, the administration "cut the outreach budget by 90 percent and cut back on grants to outside groups, called navigators, that help people enroll."
A spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the health-care law released the following statement: "The first few days of Open Enrollment for the Federal Health Insurance Exchange went smoothly. The website performed optimally and consumers easily accessed enrollment tools to compare plans and prices."
An analysis released last week by Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC (S&P), a division of S&P Global that publishes financial research and analysis, predicted that enrollment could drop by as much as 1.6 million people below last year’s level of 12.2 million signups amid the tumultuous climate under Republican control in Washington.
The positive news prompted many on social media to urge others to take advantage of the open enrollment period, which ends on December 15.
President Donald Trump did not comment on the record number of Obamacare signups, but he did spend the morning rallying his supporters in Virginia to vote in today's elections, specifically for Ed Gillespie, who opposes Obamacare's individual mandate.
@EdWGillespie will totally turn around the high crime and poor economic performance of VA. MS-13 and crime will be gone. Vote today, ASAP!" the president said in a tweet.
In another message, he denigrated Ralph Northam, Gillespie's opponent.
According to Gillespie's website, "Ed was one of Obamacare’s most vocal critics, blasting the plan before it became law and during his 2014 U.S. Senate campaign against Mark Warner."
The video below from Gillespie's personal account showcases some of Gillespie's statements on the health care law.