8 Million Sign-ups: Obamacare enrollments exceed expectations

8 Million Sign-ups: Obamacare enrollments exceed expectations

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Yesterday President Obama announced that sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act, his signature piece of legislation have hit eight million. While the official enrollment period ended on March 31, the government allowed people to finish signing up in April. Young people in particular signed up in greater numbers in March and April.

According to Think Progress:

“Just over two weeks ago, the administration announced that Obamacare enrollment had reached 7.1 million — surpassing expectations after HealthCare.gov’s rocky rollout in October. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) originally projected seven million enrollments, and revised that figure down to six million after persistent website glitches plagued the exchange websites in the fall. But sign-ups picked up steam as the deadline neared. The 8 million figure includes 3.7 million sign-ups between March 1 and April 15.

“This thing is working,” Obama said.

The administration has not yet released more detailed data about the people who have signed up for new plans, so it’s unclear how many were previously uninsured and how many have paid their first premium. Even without further numbers from the White House, however, several recent outside reports suggest that the health reform law is on solid footing.

Polling from Gallup released this week found that Obamacare may be having an even bigger impact on the uninsurance rate than initially expected, suggesting that about 12 million previously uninsured Americans have gained coverage since the fall. That places the uninsurance rate at its lowest point since 2008. According to Gallup’s estimations, about half of the Americans who have gained insurance for the first time this year say they got their coverage through Obamacare’s marketplaces. Other people gaining coverage could have gotten it through the expansion of the Medicaid program, or by signing up directly with an insurer.”

Despite exceeding initial projections for enrollments and making an impact in lowering the numbers of the uninsured, Republicans plan to continue to criticize the law in advance of the midterm elections. Their goal is to keep criticizing Obamacare to help turn out the Republican base.

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