President Barack Obama said Thursday that "close to 4 million Americans" had signed up for Obamacare through the healthcare exchanges, a signal that enrollment is accelerating despite the program's botched rollout.
"Right now, we've already got close to 4 million Americans who signed up for exchanges," the president told a group of Democratic donors and governors, according to The Hill
The figure is an improvement from the estimate the administration gave last week when it said just under 3.3 million Americans had bought plans since Oct. 1.
Under the new law, individuals must purchase health coverage before March 31 or face a fine.
Obama also credited the new federal healthcare law for improving the financial security of 10 million people because they had obtained coverage through the federal exchange, Medicaid expansion, or the provision in the Affordable Care Act allowing young adults to remain on their parents' health insurance for longer, The Hill reported.
The comments came one day after Vice President Joe Biden
publicly acknowledged a "shaky" rollout of the program and admitted the administration might not meet its enrollment target of 7 million.
Meanwhile, the White House Thursday said the latest enrollment figures demonstrate that the HealthCare.gov website has made dramatic improvements since its troubled rollout in October.
"It indicates that the healthcare website that was the subject of so much consternation and frustration both from this administration, but also from people across the country who were trying to use it, that a lot of those problems have been resolved, and that we have a website that's functioning pretty well," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, according to The Hill.
"The second thing it indicates is that that functioning website is presenting options to people who visit it that are attractive; that people are looking on that website, finding that there are healthcare offerings that are a higher quality and a lower cost than was previously available. They're taking advantage of that opportunity by signing up, and that's why we're seeing those strong numbers," he said.
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