CBO trims tally for ObamaCare enrollment

CBO trims tally for ObamaCare enrollment
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The Congressional Budget Office on Thursday slightly lowered its projections for ObamaCare enrollment, trimming its tally by about 1 million people.

About 12 million people are now expected to have ObamaCare coverage by the end of 2016, according to the nonpartisan budget office. Just three months ago, the office had predicted that 13 million people would have coverage. 

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The latest enrollment estimate is an even steeper drop from the CBO's estimates from 2015, which predicted 21 million people would have marketplace coverage by this time.

Total enrollment is now expected to rise to 19 million people by 2025, compared to the previous year's projections that the number of people with marketplace coverage would hit 22 million by that year.

It’s the latest sign of struggle for the Obama administration as it looks to boost sign-ups before the president leaves office next year.

Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have pushed back on numbers that show ObamaCare is not signing up as many people as expected. 

"CBO's new projections show that the law is working to cover the uninsured, while costing less than expected," a CMS spokesman wrote in a statement Thursday. "It's important to appreciate that the ACA is not just about some race to meet a given number of enrollees in the marketplaces."

Federal health officials point out that the CBO figures also reflect a trend that did not materialize during the rollout of ObamaCare — a major shift of people with employer-based coverage switching to federal or state marketplaces.

The CBO figures were released one day after Democrats celebrated the sixth anniversary of ObamaCare, touting the total signups of about 20 million people since the law was enacted.