White House: O-Care enrollment gaining steam in last days

The White House on Saturday said the effort to get Americans to purchase health insurance through ObamaCare was gaining “momentum,” posting pictures of lines forming at enrollment centers across the nation.

In a blog post on the White House website, spokeswoman Tara McGuinness said that lines had started forming at 5 a.m. at one enrollment center in Miami. According to a White House official, supporters are holding over 550 enrollment events and activities this weekend in a last-bid push to sign up consumers for health care.

“The final deadline to get covered in 2014 is in just two days, and Americans are literally lining up at grassroots events across the country to make sure they're covered,” McGuinness said. “This is what momentum looks like.”

White House officials also tweeted pictures of long enrollment lines around the country.

The White House needs strong turnout in the final days of the open enrollment period to help make up for the rocky launch of HealthCare.gov. 

The Congressional Budget Office and administration officials originally projected that 7 million people would sign up for coverage in the first open enrollment period. The nonpartisan agency later revised that prediction down to 6 million following early technical problems with the ObamaCare website.

On Thursday, President Obama announced that the administration hit the 6 million enrollment target, although the White House has not said how many of those people actually paid their first month’s premium to obtain coverage. The administration has also not released data about how many of those 6 million previously had private health coverage.

Over the weekend, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will be promoting the law at a faith-based town hall in Miami, and an interview with Telemundo set to air on Sunday.

White House press secretary Jay Carney wouldn’t say how President Obama, who arrives back in Washington Saturday night following a week-long tour of Europe and the Middle East, would be involved in a final enrollment push.

“I don’t have anything that the President is going to do,” Carney said. “There’s an all-out push, it’s going to continue right up to the end in terms of reaching audiences out there, including young adults.  And making sure that people have the information they need about the fact that the deadline is real and that if they don’t enroll now, they’re out of luck until November.”

 

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