Procrastinators Flood Obamacare Exchanges Ahead of Monday Deadline

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 30 2014 3:31 PM

Procrastinators Flood Obamacare Exchanges Ahead of Monday Deadline

481296979-linda-lott-a-certified-application-counselor-at-the_1
Linda Lott (R), a Certified Application Counselor at the Jesse Trice Community Health Center, takes down information from Eddie Diaz (C), as his wife Millie Sosa looks on, as he signs up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act at the Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church on March 29

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

As Monday’s deadline for the first Obamacare enrollment period approaches, the Obama administration is doing all it can to increase the number of people who sign up for health care plans. The efforts seem to be working. The federal health insurance marketplace saw record volume Saturday and there were so many calls Sunday that those interested in talking to someone have to leave their information so that an employee can call them back. The administration is crediting its outreach efforts for this late surge in interest.

“Leading up to the deadline, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, cabinet secretaries and other surrogates have done more than 300 radio interviews, attended 45 enrollment events and appeared in videos that have collectively gotten 33 million hits over the last six weeks,” notes Politico. The Hill highlights the role of “celebrity influencers,” who have posted messages to almost 350 million people, with people like Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, Katy Perry and Jennifer Lopez sending out messages on Twitter to encourage people to sign up.

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All signs suggest the administration will at least get close to reaching its goal of signing up 7 million people, having announced that more than six million people had chosen plans by last week. But not everyone is buying the numbers. Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming told Fox News that the administration is “cooking the books on this.” The full enrollment report that will include final numbers and age breakdowns likely won’t be released before mid-April, according to Politico.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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