Obama touts 'biggest day ever' for healthcare signups

Obama touts 'biggest day ever' for healthcare signups
© Greg Nash

President Obama on Friday announced that the federal government’s healthcare marketplace had seen its “biggest day ever” for signups.

Obama used the good news for HealthCare.gov to tout the progress made by his signature healthcare law.

“Since I signed ObamaCare into law, businesses have added more than 15 million new jobs,” he said in his final press conference of 2016.

ADVERTISEMENT

Federal health officials confirmed Friday that the website had seen its biggest-ever traffic on Thursday — the final day to sign up for coverage that begins on Jan. 1.

With the high demand, the Obama administration again decided to extend the deadline, which is now midnight on Monday. That allows more people to avoid paying the penalty for lacking insurance in 2017, which is $695 or higher per person.

More than 670,000 people signed up on Thursday, compared to the 600,000 people who signed up on the same deadline last year.

Earlier in the week, officials also saw “extraordinary demand”: 325,000 people enrolled on Monday, followed by another 380,000 people on Tuesday.

The Obama administration is hoping for record healthcare signups in its final open enrollment period. It’s also the final signup period before President-elect Donald Trump, a sworn foe of the healthcare law, will enter the White House with a GOP-controlled Congress.

Congressional Republicans have vowed to make repealing ObamaCare their top priority.

“We know that we’ve experienced more demand for coverage at HealthCare.gov than ever before, and we’re not done yet,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.