ObamaCare enrollment drops for second year in a row under Trump

Enrollment in ObamaCare plans declined for the second year in a row under President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE, according to new numbers released Wednesday. 

A total of 8.45 million people signed up for ObamaCare plans on healthcare.gov during this year's sign up period, which ran from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15. 


That's compared to the 8.8 million people who signed up last year — a drop of about 4 percent, or 367,000 people. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which runs open enrollment, characterized it as "steady" and noted that the numbers aren't final. 

“This Administration has taken strong steps to promote a more competitive, stable health insurance market and these steady enrollment numbers are yet another sign that the Administration’s efforts are working,” Verma said in a statement. 

She said low unemployment could have caused the drop in enrollment.

ObamaCare supporters also blamed the administration's cuts to outreach and advertising for the law, and its expansion of non-ObamaCare plans that are cheaper but cover fewer benefits. 

Next year will also be the first time since 2014 that people who don't have insurance won't have to pay a penalty. 

ObamaCare supporters also worried that a court ruling issued the night before the end of open enrollment would discourage people from signing up. 

Judge Reed O'Connor, a district judge in Texas, rule the health care law unconstitutional though there is no immediate effect. 

Still, more than 4.3 million people signed up for coverage in the final week, which ended Saturday. 

That compares to the 4.1 million people who signed up in the final week last year.