Obamacare Enrollment Hits 3 Million

Enrollment is only slightly behind schedule, despite website’s early woes.

President Barack Obama smiles while making a statement with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius while making a statement in the briefing room at the White House on February 10, 2012 in Washington, DC. President Obama announced a reversal of his administration's health care rule requiring religious employers to provide women free access to contraception.
National Journal
Sam Baker
Add to Briefcase
Sam Baker
Jan. 24, 2014, 7:21 a.m.

Obama­care en­roll­ment is only slightly be­hind ex­pect­a­tions, fol­low­ing a surge in en­roll­ment that has brought the total num­ber of sign-ups to 3 mil­lion.

As of this week, 3 mil­lion people have signed up for private cov­er­age through the Af­ford­able Care Act’s in­sur­ance ex­changes, the Health and Hu­man Ser­vices De­part­ment said today. The fig­ure in­cludes state-run mar­ket­places as well as the 36 states us­ing fed­er­al ex­changes through Health­Care.gov.

The fig­ure puts Obama­care en­roll­ment much closer to its ini­tial tar­gets. It’s now ef­fect­ively about a month be­hind sched­ule—des­pite los­ing the bet­ter part of two months to the tech­nic­al prob­lems that ini­tially plagued Health­Care.gov.

Be­fore the site’s launch in Oc­to­ber, the White House had hoped to hit 3.3 mil­lion sign-ups by the end of the year. So, hit­ting 3 mil­lion people about three weeks in­to Janu­ary is still tech­nic­ally be­hind that pace—but not by much.

The ini­tial tar­get was to en­roll about 7 mil­lion people by the end of the open en­roll­ment peri­od. Al­though the White House has since dis­owned that es­tim­ate, it’s on pace to get close to that tar­get by the time the en­roll­ment win­dow closes in March.

En­roll­ment has surged since Health­Care.gov‘s user ex­per­i­ence be­came func­tion­al, re­as­sur­ing White House of­fi­cials that the site’s troubled launch did not turn people off to the over­all concept of ex­plor­ing their op­tions for health in­sur­ance.

Al­though get­ting mil­lions of people covered is the broad pur­pose be­hind health care re­form, the law’s ba­sic sur­viv­al—at least for this year—de­pends more on who signs up. The mar­ket­places need healthy con­sumers to off­set the cost of guar­an­tee­ing cov­er­age to people with pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions.

Young adults—who are pre­sumed to be the health­i­est en­rollees—made up roughly 25 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion that had signed up for cov­er­age through the end of Decem­ber. The ini­tial tar­get was closer to 38 per­cent, but young people were al­ways ex­pec­ted to sign up late in the pro­cess, and even 25 to 30 per­cent is prob­ably enough to keep premi­ums re­l­at­ively stable, ac­cord­ing to es­tim­ates from the Kais­er Fam­ily Found­a­tion.

What We're Following See More »
TRIBUTES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Former Israeli President & PM Shimon Peres Dies at 93
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Two weeks after a massive stroke, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former president and prime minister of Israel Shimon Peres passed away late Tuesday night. In a political, military, and diplomatic career that lasted nearly 70 years, Peres was influential both in building up the formidable strength of the Israeli military and in seeking to negotiate lasting peace with Israel's many neighboring Arab countries. Within hours of the announcement of his death, both condolences and tributes began pouring in, including from former President Bill Clinton, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair.

AFRAID HE’S TAKING SUPPORT FROM CLINTON
Democrats Taking Aim at Gary Johnson
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"Democrats panicked by third-party candidates drawing support away from Hillary Clinton are ramping up their attacks against Gary Johnson and warning that a vote for a third party is a vote for Donald Trump. Liberal groups are passing around embarrassing videos of Johnson and running ads against him warning about his positions on issues like climate change that are important to young voters and independents."

Source:
RUSSIA DENIES
Dutch Investigators: MH17 Was Downed by Russian Launcher
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Russo-Western relations are getting thornier all the time. "Dutch-led criminal investigators said Wednesday they have solid evidence that a Malaysian jet was shot down by a Buk missile moved into eastern Ukraine from Russia. Wilbert Paulissen, head of the Central Crime Investigation department of the Dutch National Police, said communications intercepts showed that pro-Moscow rebels had called for deployment of the mobile surface-to-air weapon, and reported its arrival in rebel-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine." Russia, of course, is denying culpability.

Source:
FIRST DEMOCRAT ENDORSEMENT EVER
Arizona Republic Endorses Clinton
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

In its roughly 125-year history, the Arizona Republic has never endorsed a Democratic candidate for president. Until now. "The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified," the editors write, as they throw their support to Hillary Clinton.

Source:
TO BE INCLUDED IN SEPARATE BILL
Deal on Flint Aid Likely to Avert Shutdown
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have reached a deal which is likely to avert a government shutdown. The biggest impediment had been the GOP's refusal to include funding for Flint water system reconstruction in the continuing resolution, and this solution provides an alternative measure likely to appease both sides. The funding for Flint will be included in the Water Resources and Development Act as an amendment to the version passed by the House of Representatives, one which will be passed in the senate. It now appears likely that Congress will in fact be able to keep the government open.

Source:
×