The day after Donald Trump’s stunning victory in the presidential election, a record number of Americans signed up for Obamacare health coverage, and women began scrambling for long-term contraception.
On Wednesday, more than 100,000 people selected plans through HealthCare.gov during this year’s signup period, which began November 1. “Best day yet this Open Enrollment,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell. In her tweet, she added the hashtag ‘GetCovered.’
Meanwhile, women’s health advocates are urging women to quickly get an intrauterine device, which can provide safe, highly reliable birth control for up to 10 years—well past a presidential term or two.
The frantic movements are likely out of fear and speculation about how President-elect Trump will alter the country’s expensive and complicated healthcare system during his time in office. Though short on details within his plan, Trump said he intends to repeal Obamacare and replace it with Health Savings Accounts—something fellow Republicans have supported. And both Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, campaigned on pro-life platforms. Though Trump has in the past stated that he’s “very pro-choice,” he said during this election that women should be punished for having an abortion. Pence has had a consistent record of limiting access to abortion and restricting women’s healthcare.
Contraception is currently well covered under Obamacare. Birth control pills are available for free, and many plans also cover IUDs, which can cost hundreds of dollars and require a medical procedure for insertion.
Despite concerns and uncertainty, the White House and health advocates have urged Americans to carry on with their normal healthcare decisions and enrollments.
“There is no specific thing in mind that we’re going to do differently now,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Wednesday.
Anne Filipic, president of the top healthcare advocacy group, Enroll America, similarly urged calm for the 12 million that have signed up through Obamacare marketplace and the 15 million who gained Medicaid coverage in 2013.
“[B]oth groups are deeply worried about what the election results mean for their health, their families, and their financial security,” Filipic said in a statement. “As of now, nothing about the Affordable Care Act marketplace has changed, and consumers who enroll and pay their first premium by December 15 will have coverage starting January 1… Right now, it is critically important to reassure consumers that nothing has changed.”