The evening of December 23 marks the deadline for Americans to sign up for ObamaCare health insurance and pay in full in order to have their coverage begin on January 1. This deadline will serve as a major test of how much public interest in ObamaCare still remains after the disastrous launch of its website on October 1.
More Americans are able to sign up in ObamaCare as HealthCare.gov begins to show improvements. The website is now able to handle approximately 800,000 users per day and hold callers in a waiting line, administration officials said.
And the Obama administration is working feverishly to encourage consumers to sign up for healthcare by the deadline and bolster the numbers.
An administration official reported,
[The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] has been reaching out to consumers who applied for coverage but have not yet selected a plan by email, phone and hard mail, to let them know about the next steps to complete enrollment.
Broader outreach and enrollment efforts will ramp up next year to help more Americans sign up for coverage throughout the open enrollment period, which goes through March 31, 2014.
In a statement, the president declared,
The law is working. If you don’t have health insurance, go to [the site] right now and sign up. If you do it before December 23rd, you can be covered on the first day of the New Year. … I’m asking you to spread the word about getting covered.
Obama boasted on December 20 that one million Americans have enrolled in ObamaCare through the third week in December — a significant increase from the 365,000 who enrolled in November, but still far short of the administration's goal of 3.3 million prior to the October 1 launch.
Despite the positive spin that officials in the Obama administration are putting on recent enrollment, however, critics point to the White House's December 20 announcement that people who had health plans cancelled in 2013 can get an exemption from the individual mandate in 2014 as a true indicator of the law’s vitality.
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