The cumulative numbers are in: since Healthcare.gov launched on October 1, 2013, 4.2 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. That being said, the White House was more than willing to help share the "happy" news:
Will the White House meet or exceed their self-imposed sign-up goal? We don’t know:
CMS spox won't say whether they expect to meet downwardly revised goal of 6 million enrollments.— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) March 11, 2014
What we do know, however, is that the March 31 open enrollment deadline cannot legally be extended. Of course, constitutional constraints have never stopped the president from making on-the-fly changes to his health care law in the past. So we'll just wait and see what happens if/when the administration comes up short:
HHS official just said "we don't have statutory authority" to extend the open enrollment period.— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) March 11, 2014
Look for Guy’s analysis later this evening. In short, these figures are hardly encouraging, and show that enrollment sign-up trends are indeed flat-lining, despite the White House’s carefully crafted and predictable spin. Stay tuned.