Eight million people have enrolled in Obamacare, President Obama said during a press conference on Thursday afternoon. The White House announced that 28 percent are between the ages of 18 to 34, "virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in their first year of health reform," and 5.7 million are uninsured because their state didn't expand Medicaid. Obama then lectured Republicans on their various efforts to repeal the health care law. "The repeal debate is and should be over," Obama said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid leaked the news during an event in Nevada that the final Obamacare enrollment number was 8 million, according to CNN's Jake Tapper. Predictions and rumors on the final number have been swirling around all day. Charles Gaba of ACASignups predicted the number would be 7.78 million. Earlier today state insurance commissioners revealed that 35 percent of enrollees are under 35 years old. That number, of course, came with a few caveats. "Under 35" also includes to the under-18 children of people who have enrolled on the exchanges — it's the 18-34 demographic that insurers are actually concerned with. At the same time, enrollments through March 1 showed that about 32 percent were under 35, and only 6 percent of enrollees were under 18.
"That's a pretty good number in terms of trying to make sure that we have a healthy [risk] pool," Monica J. Lindeen, president-elect of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, told The Hill. Adam Hamm, the current president, said he wanted to see more detailed figures. The question now is whether the 28 percent figure for 18 to 34 year olds is equally promising — the goal was 40 percent. State insurance commissioners have to approve the rates submitted by insurance companies, which makes them a good ally.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.