Given the apocalyptically bad launch of the national health care exchange website, the sign up numbers have made a pretty remarkable come back. Today, the White House is saying they’ve hit 6 million private insurance sign ups to date. They’re not exactly clear when that 6 million number is from. Is it from today? Yesterday? The end of last week? Let’s assume, it’s yesterday.
That still leaves the sign ups a million short of the 7 million sign up prediction the Congressional Budget Office made last year. There’s a whole debate about whether that number was from, who came up with it, whether it was necessary to meet, whether it was the White House’s goal, etc. The raw facts are that the CBO came up with it by its own calculations and in effect that White House adopted it.
So they’re still a million short. But remember, people sign up in big numbers, right before the deadline. During the final 8 days before the last deadline in December 750,000 signed up. Between December 16th and December 24th. If we assume the 6 million number is through yesterday that leaves 5 more days to enroll.
Arguably, this deadline has more teeth since it’s for the rest of the year. But there’s not much point speculating. The relevant point is that there will almost certainly be another big bump over the 6 million number in the next five days. It seems very hard to figure that they’ll hit the 7 million number. But they’ll probably get a lot closer than anyone would have imagined as recently as a month ago.