​Obamacare: 6 Million Sign Ups As Deadline Looms​​

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March 29, 2021

Obamacare may have faced a few glitches, but there have been 6 million sign ups, according to the White House. Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, has faced scrutiny over technical problems that prevented people from signing up.

President Obama shared the new total in a conference call with thousands of health-care Web navigators and volunteers who are helping enroll people through state and federal market­places, urging them to redouble their efforts over the next few days. There were more than 1.5 million visits to the Web site and more than 430,000 calls to federal call centers Wednesday, administration officials said.

“We are seeing near record numbers of consumers coming to check out their options and enroll in coverage,” Marilyn ­Tavenner, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a blog post.

Obamacare Maiden Period

The announcement comes in the final days of the health law’s maiden sign-up period, when the most controversial legislation in decades was aggressively promoted by the administration and vehemently fought by its opponents.

The final enrollment figure will not be known until next month, in part because this week the administration decided to give extra time to those who say they tried to enroll but failed to do so by the March 31 deadline.

In addition, not all of those who are signing up will pay for their plans, which determines whether they will actually be covered.

1.2 Million Sign Ups This Month

The Department of Health and Human Services had expected 1.2 million people to sign up this month; enrollment has already reached 1.8 million.
“You can’t say, ‘Look, everybody hates the law,’ when you see these big numbers coming in,” said John Holahan, a fellow at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center, which has been conducting a series of surveys related to the Affordable Care Act.

Holahan added that it is still unclear what is driving the surge in sign-ups. Once people have plans, they may be split between those who like the benefits and those who find their out-of-pocket expenses and provider options unacceptable, he added.

“We don’t know how much is the mandate and how much is people realizing it’s not a bad deal,” Holahan said.

Obamacare Arguments:

  • Conservatives argue that many Americans will remain un­insured after open enrollment ends for Obamacare.
  • Federal officials have not released data on how many of the people in the federal exchanges have paid for plans.
  • California has seen more Latinos and young people enroll in recent weeks, claiming the “demographics are shifting” for sign ups.

After the March 31 deadline, uninsured Americans who ­haven’t qualified for an extension will face a tax penalty of $95 or 1 percent of their income, whichever is higher.