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April 20, 2014
Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Obamacare enrols more people in two days than all of October

More people signed up on the government's new health insurance website on the first two days of December than in the entire first month of the launch of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform, sources familiar with the numbers said today.

The sources said about 29,000 people enrolled on Sunday and Monday, surpassing nearly 27,000 for all of October when the opening of the HealthCare.gov website was beset by glitches that led to a public apology by the president and a retooling of the portal.

Obama's administration has been criticized by Republican opponents for not regularly disclosing figures over political concerns.

The improved enrollment figures provide the first evidence that a five-week emergency effort by the administration to fix HealthCare.gov was allowing more people to sign up for insurance in 36 states served by the website. Fourteen states and Washington, D.C. run their own online insurance marketplaces.

The agency in charge of the healthcare policy rollout, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said on Wednesday that it would announce official numbers later in December.

The upward swing is a tentative good sign for Obama, whose job approval ratings plummeted as the website made a disastrous debut on October 1 and millions received policy cancellation notices despite Obama's repeated pledge they could keep their current plans under the Affordable Care Act.

Preliminary government data has also indicated that about 100,000 people chose a health plan through HealthCare.gov during November. Tens of thousands more Americans have signed up through state exchanges.

While enrollment is improving, the administration is still far off track of the 7 million people whom the Congressional Budget Office has said were expected to sign up for private insurance through March 31. Also, insurers say they are struggling to cope with error-filled enrollment forms, a problem that may worsen as more people rush to meet the Dec. 23 deadline to sign up for coverage that starts Jan. 1.

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Tags:  Obama  US  Obamacare  health  


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