Obamacare Enrollment Surges as Deadlines Approach

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 31 2013 4:22 PM

Obamacare Enrollment Surges as Deadlines Approach

459727293
See? She likes it!

Photo by Kent Nishimura/AFP/Getty Images

2.1 million people have enrolled in private Obamacare insurance exchanges as of last Saturday, a strong (if not stellar) figure that stands to grow exponentially over the next few months. That's still over a million below the number of enrollments projected before October's Healthcare.gov calamity, but enough to indicate a comeback following greatly exaggerated reports of the program's death. The Obama administration is hoping to see about 7 million enrollments by March 31, when the grace period ends and the penalty—sorry, the tax—officially kicks in. 

There's more good news buried in the numbers: Over 800,000 people have been covered by Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, a number sure to grow as more and more states accept the program. And consumer protects that bar insurers from denying care based on a variety of factors (most notably preexisting conditions) will also kick in on New Year's Day. Despite Obamacare's rocky road to implementation, 2014 might be the year that many ambivalent Americans learn to love the landmark law. 

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Global Marches Demand Action on Climate Change

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Americans' Inexplicable Aversion to the 1990s
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 21 2014 2:00 PM Colin Farrell Will Star in True Detective’s Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.