Obamacare Enrollment Hits 4 Million

President Obama touted the figures as the enrollment drive entered its home stretch,

Mercy Cabrera, an insurance agent with Sunshine Life and Health Advisors, speaks on the phone as she helps a person with information about an insurance policy under the Affordable Care Act at the store setup in the Westland Mall on November 14, 2013 in Hialeah, Florida.
National Journal
Sam Baker
Feb. 25, 2014, 2:14 p.m.

About 4 mil­lion people have now signed up for private in­sur­ance through Obama­care, the Health and Hu­man Ser­vices De­part­ment said Tues­day even­ing.

The latest fig­ures were re­leased just in time for Pres­id­ent Obama’s ad­dress to Or­gan­iz­ing for Ac­tion — the suc­cessor to his cam­paign ap­par­at­us and part of the large net­work of Demo­crat­ic ad­vocacy groups now en­ter­ing the home stretch of a massive en­roll­ment drive.

The win­dow to sign up for cov­er­age closes at the end of next month, and cross­ing the 4 mil­lion mark is a key mile­stone. En­roll­ment has re­covered much of the ground it lost in Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber, when tech­nic­al prob­lems plagued Health­Care.gov, and it now seems all but im­possible that the law will col­lapse on its own, as its Re­pub­lic­an crit­ics pre­dicted.

In light of the is­sues with Health­Care.gov, the Con­gres­sion­al Budget Of­fice now ex­pects roughly 6 mil­lion people to sign up for private cov­er­age this year. HHS would need to end this month with just shy of 1.1 mil­lion sign-ups to be on track for that tar­get; it’s not clear when in Feb­ru­ary it crossed the 4 mil­lion mark.

The en­roll­ment fig­ures come with ad­di­tion­al caveats: They don’t re­flect how many people have ac­tu­ally paid their first premi­um, ac­tiv­at­ing their cov­er­age. That num­ber — which is likely around 20 to 30 per­cent lower than HHS’s fig­ure — is the true meas­ure of en­roll­ment. HHS also hasn’t said how many en­rollees were pre­vi­ously un­in­sured — an­oth­er key met­ric in meas­ur­ing real en­roll­ment against CBO’s ex­pect­a­tions.

Still, rising en­roll­ment is rising en­roll­ment, and every new mile­stone fur­ther so­lid­i­fies the law’s long-term pro­spects. At this point, the White House is con­fid­ent that even after ad­just­ing for un­paid premi­ums and pre­vi­ously in­sured people, the law is look­ing strong enough to make it to 2015 and bey­ond, and be­come part of the fab­ric of the U.S. in­sur­ance mar­ket.

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
What the Current Crop of Candidates Could Learn from JFK
23 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Maher Weighs in on Bernie, Trump and Palin
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

“We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders; he is the Occupy movement now come to life in the political arena.” So says Bill Maher in his Hollywood Reporter cover story (more a stream-of-consciousness riff than an essay, actually). Conservative states may never vote for a socialist in the general election, but “this stuff has never been on the table, and these voters have never been activated.” Maher saves most of his bile for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, writing that by nominating Palin as vice president “John McCain is the one who opened the Book of the Dead and let the monsters out.” And Trump is picking up where Palin left off.

Source:
×