DURHAM, North Carolina (WTVD) --President Donald Trump stuck to his script on Tuesday night, reiterating his call to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The law, now in its fourth year, requires all Americans have health insurance or face a fine of at least $695 (or 2.5 percent of income, whichever is greater).
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The premise, as promoted by former President Barack Obama, was that more healthy Americans buying insurance policies would provide more money for insurance companies, thus lowering the cost of premiums.
Indeed, the ACA has earned a turbulent reputation, but lawmakers will need to tread carefully.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 549,158 North Carolinians bought insurance policies through the HealthCare.gov marketplace, including 149,774 people living in the Triangle.
Trump offered a basic blueprint of his priorities, including ensuring that those with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage, allowing people to buy insurance across state lines and offering tax credits and expanded health savings accounts to help Americans purchase coverage. He suggested he would get rid of the current law's requirement that all Americans carry insurance coverage, saying that "mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for America."
Making a direct appeal for bipartisanship, Trump turned to Democrats and said, "Why not join forces to finally get the job done and get it done right?"
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The ABC11 I-Team also learned that 21 percent of those who signed up this year did so for the first time. National data shows 63 percent of users are ages 18-55 and 54 percent are female.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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