The Associated Press is reporting that the number of healthcare enrollees under the Affordable Care Act is expected to exceed seven million as the deadline to enroll passes.
Two government officials confirmed the milestone, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter ahead of an official announcement.
Seven million was the original target set by the Congressional Budget Office for enrollment in taxpayer-subsidized private health insurance through new online markets created under Obama's signature legislation.
That was scaled back to 6 million after the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov last fall. Several state-run websites also had crippling problems.
The Healthcare.gov website faltered earlier in the day as procrastinators bombarded the site trying to sign up at the last minute. The site was down for maintenance early in the day, and later had a feature in which users could input their email address and receive notification when their time to enroll came. Those who attempted to enroll by phone encountered a similar system. Those who reserved a spot in line but have not yet signed up will get a grace period to enroll.
“We admittedly had just a terrible start because the Web site wasn’t working,” President Obama said on the CBS evening news, ”But given how gloomy I think everybody’s assessment was back in the middle of November, I’d say that we’re on our way to making sure that no American ever has to go without health care."