Obamacare Enrollment Gaining Steam
Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the enrollment figures for Obamacare through the end of November. Unsurprisingly, about four times more people enrolled during the month of November as did during October, when HealthCare.gov was largely non-functional. Reports indicate that enrollment has continued to surge over the past two weeks ahead of the December 23 deadline to purchase coverage taking effect January 1, 2014.
Here are the topline numbers to know:
- 110,410 Americans signed up for private coverage through HealthCare.gov just last month.
- 1,900,000 people have made it through the process but have yet to select a plan.
- 803,077 people have been determined to be eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
- 364,682 Americans selected plans through the state-run or federal insurance marketplaces (137,204 through HealthCare.gov and 227,478 in state-run exchanges).
The surge resembles Massachusetts’ successful launch of Commonwealth Care, where most people signed up later in the open enrollment period:
Enrollment for Massachusetts’ Commonwealth Care in 2007:
In other good Obamacare news, a report out today found that the number of women who are receiving birth control at no additional cost — a key Obamacare benefit — has jumped 25 percent since the requirement went into effect last year.
“This data confirms that the Affordable Care Act is already working for millions of women and their families — and we expect that number to keep growing,” said the president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Cecile Richards.
For their part, Republicans continued to attack the law during another predictably one-sided hearing.
Things did not go so well for Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), who botched an attempt to compare HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to North Korea’s totalitarian dictator and then totally freaked out. A Democratic Member admonished Shimkus, who was shouting at Sebelius, to allow her to actually answer his questions. “I do not have to allow her to answer the question!” Shimkus screamed in reply.
(Shimkus was attacking the aforementioned no-cost preventive care benefits under Obamacare, which include birth control and cancer screenings.)
BOTTOM LINE: Obamacare is working and more than a million Americans have gained access to health coverage because of the law, many for the very first time.