Health Highlights: Nov. 16, 2017

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Obamacare Sign-Ups 45 Percent Higher This Year

Forty-five percent more Americans in the 39 states covered by the website have signed up for Affordable Care Act health plans so far this year than at the same point last year, according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) data released Wednesday.

As of Nov. 11, nearly 1.5 million people had selected a plan, compared with just over 1 million between Nov. 1-12 last year, the Associated Press reported.

The number of sign-ups nationwide is higher because states that operate their own health insurance markets are not included in this data.

CMS said the share of new consumers for 2018 coverage remained at about 23 percent, the AP reported.

This year’s sign-up season ends Dec 15, making it only half as long as last year’s.

The release of the data comes as Republican senators seek to pay for tax cuts by repealing the ACA’s requirement for people to have insurance.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 13 million more people would be uninsured by 2027 if Congress repeals that requirement, the AP reported.