The Obama administration is pushing back on doubts about thefuture of the Affordable Care Act individualinsurance marketplace.

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Despite withdrawals from the marketplace by major insurers andbig premium increases for marketplace health plans,Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said on Thursdaythat the marketplace remains stable.

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Burwell told reporters that the marketplace would remainfunctional even in the absence of improvements by the nextadministration, the The New York Times reports.

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Her comments stand in contrast to those made by opponents of thelaw. The Tennessee insurance commissioner said recently that themarketplace in that state was close to collapsing after sheapproved major rate hikes for health plans.

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The administration is still eager to make improvements to thesystem that have thus far been stymied by a Republican Congressthat does not want to engage with Obamacare in any way besidesrepealing it. The administration recently put together a lengthybriefing with a number of suggested fixes to the system that ithopes the next president would be able to implement.

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To improve the marketplace, the administration is ramping upefforts to get young people to enroll. Officials are going tospecifically reach out to millennials whose tax records indicatethey paid a penalty for going without insurance last year.

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It is far from clear what will happen to the ACA under the nextpresident, whoever that may be. Donald Trump has promised to repealthe law, but exactly how he would do that or what he wouldimplement in its stead remains vague. Hillary Clinton has vowed toexpand the law, including by adopting a public option insuranceplan to compete with private sector plans, a policy that theinsurance industry will undoubtedly fight ferociously.

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Any major health policy changes will not be possible without thecooperation of Congress. While it’s anybody’s guess who mightcontrol the Senate next year, the House of Representatives is allbut guaranteed to remain under GOP control.

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