Explanatory Multimedia Reporting from CU Boulder Journalism Students

CU News Corps

In furious sprint to finish line, ObamaCare enrollment numbers jump over 7 million mark


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






By Lars Gesing
CU News Corps

This week’s big story is – once again – the Affordable Care Act. The first deadline to sign up for the new health care provision was Monday at midnight. During the days – and especially the hours – that led up to that landmark, millions of last-minute insurance shoppers swarmed healthcare.gov, dialed into call-lines and stood outside of assistance sites nationwide, as Politico and others reported.

The website broke down for short periods several times Monday due to the high simultaneous user numbers, according to The Huffington Post.

But the bigger news – and way more triumphant ones for the White House and the Obama administration – were the final numbers, which first Press Secretary Jay Carney and later the president himself announced in the Rose Garden. According to CNN’s story quoting the administration, 7.1 million Americans signed up for ObamaCare. The uber-strong finish secured an important argument for the legislations backers, as it met and even slightly exceeded the 7 million mark the administration had announced as a goal before the first application window opened.

The numbers could go up even further. Those who started the application process in time but met difficulties finishing it before the Monday midnight deadline are granted a grace-period to finish. The Christian Science Monitor walks procrastinators and others who couldn’t finish the process on time through the available steps in its ObamaCare deadline 101. The Los Angeles Times also reports that the state of California gave its residents an extension to sign up for its version of the law after thousands met troubles when they tried to sign up Monday before midnight.

Former Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein’s new media outlet VOX published an explanation on its Facebook page Monday about how that day – contrary to common perception – was in fact not the last day to sign up for Obama’s Medicare extension.

And on a final note on the Affordable Care Act: Coloradans and Boulderites – beware! During next week’s Annual Conference on World Affairs at CU-Boulder, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will give the keynote speech Monday, April 7, 2014, at 11.30 a.m. at Macky Auditorium on campus. This event as well as all the other ones during the course of the week-long summit are free and open to the general public.

***

The New York Times published a story in its most recent Sunday edition that very likely will cause Democratic campaign strategists some headaches. Jacky Calmes writes about how frustrated Latino voters in the state might reject casting their votes in this fall’s midterm elections altogether. Colorado’s significant percentage of Latino voters is a crucial component in the Democratic premise for success this fall.

***

Tuesday, Public Policy Polling, a private firm acknowledged for its accuracy, but also said to be “left leaning,” released a set of polls, which show that in 13 Republican-held congressional districts across the country, a majority of voters supports the minimum wage. According to the data, one of those 13 districts is Colorado’s 6th Congressional District – the hotly contested race between Republican incumbent Mike Coffman and his Democratic challenger, Andrew Romanoff.

***

Last Thursday, the U.S. Senate took a key step toward renewing benefits for millions of long-term unemployed Americans, Politico reported, when Senators from both sides of the aisles voted 65-34 in favor of opening debate on a bipartisan measure, after previous attempts had fallen short of the required majority. According to the report, Republican House majority speaker John Boehner keeps holding up his refusal to support the measure. Last Thursday’s vote therefore was only a first step.

 

FiveThirtyEight chief economics writer Ben Casselman quotes former Obama adviser Alan Krueger, who believes the administration should have done more for the jobless during the worst years of the recession. Krueger said he was afraid many of the long-term unemployed might never work again.

***

Wall Street is abuzz after Michael Lewis published his new book “Flash Boys,” which takes the reader inside the surreal technology that substituted for antiquated pictures of yelling brokers, while unfathomable amounts of money get exchanged within mere seconds. In a book review on Monday, The New York Times critic Janet Maslin writes about the “tale of high-speed trading.”

Print Friendly

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Explanatory Multimedia Reporting from CU Boulder Journalism Students
In furious sprint to finish line, ObamaCare enrollment numbers jump over 7 million mark