BY DEVIN HEFLIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As of Wednesday, Nov.1, citizens have one month and fourteen days until the end of the initial end of the year open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act. The legislation was among many of the crowning achievements of the Obama administration and has yet to face a defeat by Republican officials during the first year of the Trump Presidency.
In fact, the Affordable Care Act has survived blow after blow since President Trump took office in January, including repeated attempts by Congress to repeal it. But as the fifth open enrollment period has started, the law is reeling from continued attacks by the Trump administration that have sown confusion and anxiety among the roughly 10 million Americans with coverage through its insurance marketplaces and millions more who remain uninsured.
The GOP has attempted, to no avail, to derail the Affordable Care Act with a replacement, first by forming their own Freedom Caucus, then by four repeated attempts at the direct repeal of the Affordable Care Act, to the chagrin of Democrats and the disapproval of GOP Senators.
The American Health Care Act, the GOP authored potential replacement bill, which kept certain provisions of the law such as children remaining on their parents insurance until the age of twenty-six, penalties for non-sign up by the deadline, but differed in charging for pre-existing conditions and allowing insurers to opt-out of present standing Affordable Care Act measures.
The GOP plan also targeted abortion provisions, by introducing tax credits for insurance plans to cover the procedure.
The bill died in late July of this year and the Affordable Care Act, authored by the Obama administration, remains in place.
Deadline for this round of insurance signups for the Affordable Care Act is December 15,2017.
Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who voted in mid-July of this year to repeal the Affordable Care Act, remains open to taking out the legislation.
"I have voted for (repeal) in the past; I will do so again," Rubio said. "I believe Obamacare is broken, I think it's bad for our country. ... The idea that somehow Obamacare is working well for people is just absolutely wrong."
Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, who has championed Democratic politics in the sunshine state for sixteen years, has remained in favor of keeping the legislation, despite outnumbered GOP majority attempts and consensus.
“We should be open to fixing it, should there be anything that requires fixing. Let’s not scrap it altogether.” Nelson said.
“There ought to be a look at approaches like that, where a dialogue can be had on both sides. That hasn’t happened.”
Upon last attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Senator Majority leader Mitch MConnell worked on legislation with fellow GOP legislators to scale back the federal government’s involvement in the US Health Care System.
The bill petered out on Sept. 30, 2017, short of fifty Republican votes.
In addition to the wall, travel bans and international conflicts, the Trump administrations hallmark pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act, remains unmet and the replacement, unmatched.