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VP says possible healthcare exchanges to fall short of estimated 7 million by March

The Congressional Budget Office initially predicted 7 million people would likely sign up for healthcare through the newly created exchanges by the deadline on March 31.

The Trucker News Services

2/20/2014

Vice President Biden on Wednesday said it is possible the healthcare exchanges would fall short of an initial estimate of 7 million enrollments by the end of March.

During a stop at a coffee shop in Minneapolis, Biden said it would be “a hell of a start” if 5 million to 6 million people signed up by the deadline. 

"We may not get to 7 million, but if we get to 5 or 6 million that's a hell of a start," he said in a story reported by the Drudge Report.

In a brief conversation with four women who either signed up for healthcare through the exchanges or acted as navigators for others, Biden said he had been a significant consumer of healthcare during his lifetime, citing a serious car accident and a brain aneurism.

"All I kept thinking about was, 'Thank God I had all this insurance,' " he said.

The Congressional Budget Office initially predicted 7 million people would likely sign up for healthcare through the newly created exchanges by the deadline on March 31. The administration touted that number as a benchmark as well.

But after the botched rollout of the federal website, the main portal to buy health insurance on the exchange, the administration moved away from that number.

A CBO report released earlier this month predicted the shaky rollout of the exchanges would result in 1 million fewer people signing up for coverage through the end of March. It revised its estimate from 7 million to 6 million.

Questions have also focused on the makeup of the enrollment figures, which would ideally include a mix of young and old people.

So far, 3.3 million people have selected a healthcare plan under ObamaCare, according to the latest Health and Human Services numbers from January. More than one million people signed up in January alone. 

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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