More People Signed Up for Obamacare in the First Two Days of December Than in All of October

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 4 2013 12:39 PM

More People Signed Up for Obamacare in the First Two Days of December Than in All of October

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This December 2, 2013 photo shows a woman reading the HealthCare.gov insurance marketplace internet site in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

After a (very!) rough first two months, things are finally starting to pick up for healthcare.gov. Politico with the early December numbers:

About 29,000 people signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov on Sunday and Monday - a figure that surpasses the total for the whole month of October, an official familiar with the program told POLITICO. ... The preliminary numbers for the two-day period provide the clearest evidence yet that the federal exchange is on the mend. About 26,000 people selected a health plan during October and about 100,000 people did so in November, the official said.
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The new numbers come as the White House is at the start of a three-week blitz to relaunch and reboot the Obamacare website. Democrats plan on emphasizing a different benefit of the landmark law each and every day between now and the Dec. 23 enrollment deadline for Jan. 1 coverage. The steep upswing in enrollments is obviously good news for Obama, but it's important to remember that headlines such as the one at the top of this post wouldn't exist if it weren't for where the enrollment bar was set when the website first went live: Only six people signed up for coverage on the first day the site was open, a figure that climbed to 248 on by Day 3.

Then again, it's also worth noting that what we're seeing now—a sharp rise in the number of people signing up for insurance relatively late in the enrollment game–is more or less what the administration had been projecting all along (albeit obviously without the early disaster that was healthcare.gov during its first month).

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.