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President starts media blitz for ObamaCare enrollment

President starts media blitz for ObamaCare enrollment
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President Obama will try to convince Americans to sign up for ObamaCare coverage in a series of local radio interviews.

Obama on Thursday will sit down with news radio hosts from Dallas-Fort Worth and four other markets, according to KRLD Morning News.

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“It will be an opportunity for him to educate the public about these [health insurance] options,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

The president on Wednesday is also joining a conference call with Affordable Care Act in-person assisters and volunteers to discuss open enrollment.

All the activity is a sign Obama is becoming personally involved in trying to boost the number of people covered under ObamaCare as its third enrollment season begins.

The administration last month announced a surprisingly low enrollment target; its goal is to have 10 million people signed up for coverage in 2016, which would be an improvement of less than a million over the number of people already enrolled.

Conservative critics of the law are taking the low enrollment targets as a sign that the healthcare law is failing.

The goal of 10 million signs-ups is significantly lower than what the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted in June, when it estimated 20 million people would enroll next year.

The White House says the enrollment targets are not a cause for concern.
 
Earnest said Wednesday that 250,000 people applied for coverage during the first 48 hours of open enrollment, consistent with last year’s pace.

“I think it is an indication that there still is an appetite across the country for people who are looking for quality affordable healthcare options,” he said.

He said the administration’s goal is lower than the CBO estimate because the budget office expected employers to slash workers’ health coverage.

“The fact is, we haven’t seen large-scale actions like this from employers across the country,” Earnest said.

— This story was updated at 3:28 p.m.