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 »
The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.
"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."
No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."
Speaking at the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, President Obama "compared Peres to 'other giants of the 20th century' such as Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth who 'find no need to posture or traffic in what's popular in the moment.'" Among the 6,000 mourners at the service was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama called Abbas's presence a sign of the "unfinished business of peace" in the region.