Report: President to enroll in ObamaCare

President Obama plans to enroll in ObamaCare on Monday, the final day for individuals to purchase insurance so they are covered by Jan. 1.

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett signaled the president’s intention to purchase coverage in a phone interview with American Urban Radio Networks White House correspondent April Ryan.

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In 2010, White House spokesman Reid Cherlin pledged that the president would sign up on the exchanges in response to an amendment offered by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) that would have required the president to purchase coverage.

"The president will participate in the exchange," Cherlin told USA Today. "But let's be clear: The amendments being offered by Senate Republicans, including this one, are just a ploy to delay the bill."

In recent weeks, White House press secretary Jay Carney has said that the president still planned to enroll, but refused to give details of when that could occur.

“I know that he will and has said that he will — the White House has said that he will — but I don't have an update," Carney told reporters earlier this month.

Asked what the president was waiting for — and whether his attempt to enroll in the exchange would be open to members of the press — Carney laughed.

"I'll get back to you," he said.

The White House did not immediately confirm Jarrett’s pledge that the president would sign up for coverage by the end of the day. The president is in Hawaii for his annual Christmas vacation. 

Republican lawmakers have pressed the administration to enroll in the exchanges, arguing it is important symbolic gesture.

In a heated exchange last month on Capitol Hill, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) repeatedly asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius why she had not purchased insurance on the exchanges.

Sebelius incorrectly said that it would be illegal for her to do so, because her healthcare was included in her compensation as a federal employee. 

Those with employer-provided insurance can purchase separate coverage through the exchanges, but are not eligible for tax credits to reduce the price of premiums. Sebelius, however, is prohibited from buying insurance because she is a Medicare enrollee.

Obama, who is younger, has no such restriction — although the president also does not need to sign up. Presidents and their immediate families are eligible for free treatment in military hospitals during and after their presidencies.