Obama Sharply Criticizes Republicans As He Announces 8 Million Have Enrolled

Kaiser Health News staff writers Phil Galewitz and Daniela Hernandez report: “Enrollment in private health insurance on federal and state marketplaces has surged in recent weeks and now totals 8 million, a feisty President Barack Obama said Thursday. The actual number of people affected [by the refusal to expand Medicaid] is 5.7 million, the administration said. Republican leaders in Florida, Texas and other states argue that even though the federal government is paying the full cost of expansion through 2016, costs in later years would still be too high a burden. They also say they don’t trust Congress to abide by the law and maintain full federal funding. Administration data show 3.8 million people signed up for private plans in the past six weeks --- compared to 4.2 million in the first five months after enrollment began Oct. 1. Enrollment ended March 31, though people who had trouble signing up generally had until April 15 to sign up in the 36 states relying on the federal marketplace” (Galewitz and Hernandez, 4/17). Read the story.

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