Obamacare’s first enrollment season ended like it started, with various technical difficulties throughout the day on healthcare.gov thanks to a surge in last-minute sign-ups. However, the overall outcome looks surprisingly positive. While the Congressional Budget Office’s target of 7 million enrollments was scaled back to 6 million after the first round of website problems, shortly before the midnight deadline, two government officials told the Associated Press that the original goal is “in sight.”
No official numbers were released, possibly because people are still signing up. Just below the banner on healthcare.gov proclaiming “Open enrollment is over for 2014,” there’s a link to how people can still sign up for coverage through Medicaid or the “special enrollment period” for those who weren’t able to complete the process.
President Obama wasn’t in a celebratory mood in a pre-taped interview that aired on the CBS Evening News. “We admittedly had just a terrible start because the Web site wasn’t working,” Obama said. “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.” If the AP’s sources are right, we suspect the gloating will start soon enough.