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  • Obamacare Surprise: Strong Showing as Nearly 9 Million Sign Up Associated Press by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar — In a remarkably strong show of consumer demand, nearly 9 million people signed up for Obamacare next year, as government numbers out Thursday proved predictions of its collapse wrong yet again. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said more than 8.8 million people have signed up in the 39 states served by the federal website. That compares to 9.2 million last year in the same states — or 96 percent of the previous total. The level exceeds what experts thought was possible after another year of political battles over the Affordable Care Act, not to mention market problems like rising premiums and insurer exits. On top of that, the Trump administration cut enrollment season in half, slashed the ad budget, terminated major payments to insurers, and scaled back grants for consumer counselors.

  • More Than Four in Five Enrolled in Obamacare Are in Trump States Associated Press by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Kevin S. Vineys — Americans in states that Donald Trump carried in his march to the White House account for more than four in five of those signed up for coverage under the health care law the president still wants to take down. An Associated Press analysis of new figures from the government found that 7.3 million of the 8.8 million consumers signed up so far for next year come from states Trump won in the 2016 presidential election. The four states with the highest number of sign-ups — Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia, accounting for nearly 3.9 million customers — were all Trump states. "There's politics, and then there's taking care of yourself and your family," said analyst Chris Sloan of the consulting firm Avalere Health.

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