With less than two weeks away from the March 31 deadline, the White House recently announced that more than 5 million Americans have enrolled in the health insurance marketplace since it opened last October. This is up 1 million from last month and only 1 million shy of the 6 million the administration wanted to have enrolled by this month.
But can Obamacare really reach its goal in time? The Obama administration seems to think so, given that in the past two weeks almost 800,000 new people have enrolled, says the Huffington Post.
In a blog post on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website, Marilyn Tavennor, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, wrote, “The last several days have been the busiest since December, with the Call Center taking more than 198,000 calls on Thursday alone — the busiest day since December 23 — and more than 130,000 calls over the weekend.”
“Last week, HealthCare.gov saw more than 4 million visits — and an additional 1 million visits this weekend,” she said.
Perhaps the influx is due to folks waiting until the last minute to enroll, given the urgency of meeting the March 31 deadline. Not to mention, the White House has been on a media blitz lately with a surge in television and radio ads, which have included everyday Americans and celebs such as Magic Johnson, LeBron James and Alicia Keys. POTUS has even teamed up with the NCAA to unleash March Madness ads to reach young folks and men.
And while this uptick of Americans enrolling in health care reform is important, there are still some specifics that we don’t know about these numbers, Politico.com points out:
— Do these numbers reflect people who have just enrolled and paid their first month’s premiums or people who have only signed up?
— How many of these 5 million are the young healthy Americans that Obamacare so desperately needs to make this program successful?
Not to mention, how many of these 5 million are African-American and/or Latino, the two groups in the country with the disproportionately highest uninsured rates?
But here’s what we do know: According to a recent Gallup poll, Obamacare is making a dent in lowering uninsured rates of people of color across the country, including the rate dropping 2.6 points to 18.3 percent among Blacks. Latinos still have the highest rate with a whopping 37.9 percent uninsured.
With less than two weeks to go, the question remains, “Have you enrolled and what is your plan of action?” Remember that health care isn’t just about strengthening your life, but the life of our entire community.
Read more about why the March 31 Obamacare deadline matters to you.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)