Health care enrollment may pass 9 million | Deseret News National
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Ringo H.W. Chiu, Associated Press
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Health care enrollment may pass 9 million

Since Affordable Care Act marketplaces kicked off in September an estimated 9.3 million people have gained insurance, according to a RAND Corporation survey.

This would bring the uninsured rate from 20.5 percent to 15.8 percent, according to RAND, but doesn't necessarily spell a big success, according to a Vox report, because most of these were in employer-based coverage.

According to RAND estimates, among the previously uninsured, 7.2 million got coverage from an employer, 3.6 million through Medicaid, and 1.4 million through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

The survey numbers, which are subject to a margin of error, exceed the 7.1 million total President Barack Obama announced last week according to Reuters. The total includes the 400,000 people who signed up after the March 31 deadline because they weren't able to complete enrollment in time.

Kathleen Sebelius, who stepped down as U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Thursday, previously told Reuters that traffic on federal enrollment site Healthcare.gov had spiked to 4.8 million users on March 31, and federal call centers received two million phone calls.

Republicans have called for more detailed data on how many people have really completed enrollment by paying a first premium. Senator John Barrasso from Wyoming dismissed figured released in the last weeks.

"I don't think it means anything. ... I think they're cooking the books on this," said Barrasso on "Fox News Sunday."

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch was critical of the newest numbers when speaking to Reuters.

"It's like Amazon.com taking stock of how many people have placed items in their shopping carts and then counting them as sales," he said. "In other words, it's a false metric."

The 11th-hour boom exceeded the Congressional Budget Office's estimate that six million people would join in the first year, an estimate that was dropped from seven million due to issues with the Healthcare.gov websites.

Email: laneanderson@deseretnews.com