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Saturday, October 22, 2016

By Kathleen Hennessey, Tribune Washington Bureau

ROME — With a March 31 deadline looming, the White House announced Thursday that more than six million people have signed up for health insurance through online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act.

That number falls short of the goal of seven million sign-ups that administration officials had hoped to reach before website troubles botched the Oct. 1 rollout of the federal marketplace.

Still, the figure shows the administration has made a strong comeback, which could quiet concerns that the new system would fail to get a large enough pool of consumers to work as planned.

And it assures that, with several more days to go until the deadline, the administration will surpass the six million enrollment estimate released last month by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Obama, on a conference call from Italy on his five-day Europe trip, touted the new milestone Thursday to supporters and volunteers. The president asked the group, which the White House said numbered several thousand, to continue their efforts through the final push.

“The president encouraged the navigators and volunteers to redouble their efforts over the next four days and leave no stone unturned in trying to bring affordable health coverage to as many Americans as possible,” the White House said in a statement.

Both state and federal marketplaces have seen a surge of activity ahead of Monday’s deadline. On Wednesday there were more than 1.5 million visits to the federal site,, and more than 430,000 calls to call centers, according to the White House. The administration previously announced the site — the marketplace for 36 states — drew 1.2 million visitors Tuesday and 1.1 million Monday.

The hard date for enrolling in Obamacare this year is now a softer deadline. The administration has said that consumers who have started the process of enrolling will be able to get an extension to complete the process after Monday, but has not indicated for how long.

The administration has not released data on how many people have actually paid for the health insurance plans that they have selected.

Unofficial estimates from insurance companies and some state-run marketplaces suggest that as many as 20 percent of consumers have yet to pay their premiums, although some of those may not have been billed yet.

LeDawna’s Pics via Flickr



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  • Paul Bass

    Where are all the GOP saying the world will end due to Obamacare?


    • paulyz

      It will Paul for most of most of them when they discover how expensive it is & that it won’t cover what they think, It will. And they sure as hell won’t get the “promised” $2500 savings. But lot of the signers are most likely getting big taxpayer subsidies to sign so of course they will like it. After that, most people won’t want it, and they will hard-pressed to sign up more ……….

      • stcroixcarp

        It depends on where you live. If you live in Minnesota or Kentucky, you will get good service and good plans. If you live in Louisiana or Wisconsin, you will have lots of hassles, be denied medicaid, and possibly pay higher premiums. It all depends on your governor.

        • elw

          Well there is no one to blame for that but the GOP for their lawsuit that over not mandating the States to accept the Medicaid expansion and I suppose the Right leaning supreme for ruling in their favor.

      • drdroad

        How expensive ‘what’ is? Most people won’t want ‘what’? Except for the expanded Medicaid, its all private insurance policies, and the prices of the policies are right on the websites, just like any Health Insurance company website. And the policies cover more than the traditional policies did before Obamacare. You don’t seem to know much about what you are commenting on.

        • BillP

          Dr paulyz jut writes his unproven and ridiculous comments without any proof then disappears when some questions his statements. The man doesn’t have the cojones to defend his bs.

      • elw

        You make no sense – what are you talking about?

      • Aajaxx

        Oh, no! Poor people getting subsidies! Those are only supposed to go to Big Business! What is this country coming to?

      • itsfun

        Didn’t Obama tell us that the premiums would be just like making our cell phone payments? How many people have saved 2500 a year. My quess is very very few. If this law is so great why has obama made 30 changes or so to the law, without congressional approval?

      • A_Real_Einstein

        My premiums went down $110 per month and I have no co pays for preventitive care. My doctor is still my doctor. The $2500 savings will occur over time as a result of lower premiums, lower co pays , lower deductibles, lower out of pocket expenses and rebates from the insurers due to the Medical Loss Ratio. The key to the savings is preventative care which will take several years to be reflected in the numbers as more and more people seek preventative care without co pays. This is very similiar to medicare which works on the same premise.

  • charles king

    I will say it again ” Obamacare WORKS ” “Social Security WORKS” “MEDICARE WORKS” “Critical Thinking WORKS” “Your VOTE is still Supreme” so Vote those people out Who? are against the Right things for You the People. thank You are the magic words in my book. I Love Ya All. P. S. Keep a look out for those (Greedy Capatilistic Pigs, Plutocracts, Do Nothing Republicans and Democracts and Etc. Do Nothingners) Mr. C. E. KING

  • elw

    All I can say is yea. To be honest I am not surprised and I would bet that when all is said and done the ACA has shown that it is needed and welcomed by those who signed up. Six million and counting is nothing to sneeze at, however, no one should expect the crazy Right to accept defeat. After all, they still think they actually won the election in 2012.

  • DurdyDawg

    It’s like everything else to these one-dimensional thinkers.. Anything new will not work.. In fact, new implemented ideas is what causes the sky to fall and these chicken little’s have nothing or no one to blame for their ineptness except their blinders and their hard-shelled biasness.. In five years everyone will wonder how we ever survived without the ACA just as they did before cell phones, but if you refer to ACA as ‘Obamacare’ they will still spit on the ground.

    • 1standlastword

      Does your dog bite?! LOL

    • Aaron_of_Portsmouth

      Love the cartoon!
      It was also said that the “new-fangled notion”(the first telephone) would never work, that the Wright Brothers would never get off the ground, that a horseless carriage would never work, etc.
      Indeed, one-dimensional thinkers will always be trapped in the dark world of utter cynicism. (Oh drat! It works)

  • thedirtydemocrat

    I love my ACA. Screw the GOP and their teabagger buddies. It is the best thing for the working families on low incomes.

  • crosstown

    I have been fortunate for all of my life in that I have always had healthcare as a city and state worker ( I also have access to healthcare through the Veterans Administration should I need
    it ) and continue to enjoy healthcare in retirement. All Americans should have healthcare. The ACA is a good thing.

  • itsfun

    How many of these are people that had policies cancelled by the obamacare tax? How many of these are people that did not have insurance before the obamacare tax? How many of these people have actually made a premium payment? CBS news reported that 20% have not paid. Are visits to the site considered as enrollment? The White House said that everyone that vists the site is deemed to have paid for 90 days whether they have paid or not. Too many unanswered questions to make judgements yet.

  • alboy5

    Stop the Husanity. More than 90 million lost insurance. Everyone enrolled in Husanity has made the former middleclass uninsured and in poverty.