President Barack Obama announced Thursday that 8 million Americans had enrolled in private health coverage under Obamacare — the final evidence that the law signed up far more Americans than most would have thought possible during the doldrums of last fall.
“The bottom line is the share of Americans with health insurance is up,” he said from the White House briefing room. “This thing is working.”
The 8 million figure means the law eclipsed the Congressional Budget Office’s revised 6 million projection by 33 percent — and exceeded the original 7 million estimate by 14 percent.
In a fact sheet released simultaneously, the White House said 28 percent of those enrollees were ages 18 to 34, the key “young and healthy” population, up from 25 percent at the end of February. It still falls below the nearly 40 percent that the administration was aiming for, though outside experts have said that the share should be enough to sustain the insurance market in the near term.
The 8 million sign-ups are up from 7.1 million at the official end of the open enrollment period on March 31. The administration gave people who claimed to have tried to sign up before March 31 until April 15 to complete the process on HealthCare.gov.
The figure does not account for how many people have paid their first premium, formally initiating their coverage.
This chart, courtesy of Vox Media’s Sarah Kliff, illustrates the March enrollment surge.
The end of enrollment surge, in one chart. pic.twitter.com/tlYHYCtg8S
— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) April 17, 2014