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President Barack Obama's unpopular health care law is losing some of its political punch as vulnerable Democrats see it as less of an election-year minus and Republicans increasingly talk about fixing it instead of repealing.

Life changes, from losing a job to getting out of jail, can trigger eligibility for low-cost health insurance, and Affordable Care Act navigators are trying to let people know.

About 12,300 North Carolinians risk losing recently obtained health insurance unless they provide citizenship and immigration documents soon, the federal government said this week. That’s the sixth-highest total in the country.

The percentage of North Carolinians without health insurance dropped from 20.4 last year to 16.7 as of mid-2014, according to a new Gallup national survey.

Tuesday’s appeals court rulings on the Affordable Care Act “don’t change anything” for North Carolina, said Sorien Schmidt, state director of Get Covered America, a national campaign to educate uninsured consumers about the availability of health insurance through the 2010 law.

UnitedHealthcare became the third health insurer this week to propose entering the federal insurance marketplace in North Carolina. The move would expand choice and increase competition here but not enough to prevent rates from climbing.

The number of uninsured Charlotte residents could drop by 36 percent, or 63,000, by 2016 because of Affordable Care Act provisions that extend health insurance coverage to more Americans, according to a report released Thursday.

A North Carolina legislative proposal to limit the Affordable Care Act ran into trouble because it would kill a proposal to expand health insurance coverage for autism.

Blue Cross signed up 232,000 under the Affordable Care Act as NC enrollments skew toward sicker, older customers.

North Carolina enrollments for health insurance surged to 357,000 as tens of thousands of residents signed up for subsidized coverage in the final weeks of eligibility, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday.

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