Over 1.1 million Americans have signed up for Obamacare so far. This is just the number of people who signed up on the beleaguered Healthcare.gov website. It is estimated several hundred thousand more have enrolled on the state exchanges. Late Sunday Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said 975,000 signed up on the national website in December alone.
Furthermore, the website did not crash under the heavy traffic last week. On Monday, 83,000 people were able to access the site at one time, far surpassing the administration’s goal of 50,000 concurrent users by the end of November.
“Our HealthCare.gov enrollment nearly doubled in the days before the January 1 coverage deadline compared to the first few weeks of the month,” she said. “December enrollment so far is over 7 times that of October and November. In part, this was because we met our marks on improving HealthCare.gov: the site supported 83,000 concurrent users on December 23rd alone.”
According to the CMS, 2 million people visited the site on Monday, and an additional quarter of a million phoned the call centers. In addition, about 1 million people visited the site, and 200,000 called in over the weekend CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille said in a statement.
The state exchanges in California, New York, and Kentucky have been enrolling thousands of persons per day. Other states have experienced smaller numbers, but the number is on the up-swing. The state exchange numbers will be released after the first of the year.
In addition to the people who bought private insurance under Obamacare, just under 4 million low-income people now qualify for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. That means that as the year ends, 5,000,000 Americans now cave health care coverage as a result of Obamacare. That does not count the millions of your people under 26 who have coverage under their parent’s policy thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
This does not count the people who were allowed to keep their low-cost “junk” insurance policies that were scheduled to be cancelled. President Obama allowed those people to keep their policies for the time being to avoid between 500,000 and 1,000,000 from losing insurance “they like.”
The Obama Administration hoped that 3,000,000 would get private insurance by the mid-December. These latest numbers show that those goals will not be met. However, given the failure of the website in October and November, the fact that enrollment has been surging gives hope that the ultimate goal of 7,000,000 enrollments by the end of March is not unreasonable. The late December surge in traffic and enrollment shows that the demand is there and the public likes the product.
It is not likely that these numbers will be acknowledged by Republicans. They will continue to push to repeal Obamacare with absolutely no alternative to replace it with. They have no alternative because President Obama used the Republican health care plan as the basis for the Affordable Care Act. Republicans do not oppose the law on its merits; they oppose it simply because Obama is for it.
One Tea Party Republican Senator, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, acknowledged that Republicans must face the reality of Obamacare. Repealing it now would be problematic.
“It’s no longer just a piece of paper that you can repeal and it goes away. There’s something there. We have to recognize that reality. We have to deal with the people that are currently covered under Obamacare,” Senator Johnson told the New York Times.
Republicans have cast over 44 votes to repeal Obamacare with no alternative to replace it with. Repeal would mean insurance companies can deny coverage due to anything they determine to be a pre-existing condition. It also means they could charge women more for insurance than men just because they were born female. Repeal would mean an end to the rebates millions receive from their insurance company each year.
Perhaps, Republicans would be wise to be careful what they wish for.