Obama hawking health coverage as deadline arrives
We’ll soon see how effective a health insurance salesman President Barack Obama proves to be as the deadline arrives this week for Americans to sign up for individual-market coverage effective Jan. 1.
The president made a big push over the weekend to encourage Americans, especially young people, to sign up for health insurance on HealthCare.gov or through their state exchanges. On Friday, Obama spoke on ESPN Radio’s “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd. He also taped a show for Ryan Seacrest’s “On Air” to be broadcast Monday. In addition, he was scheduled to be on a Raleigh, N.C., radio show.
Uninsured people who don’t enroll by Dec. 15 could face tax penalties because they won’t have coverage in place by Jan. 1, though several states, including Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington, are giving residents a few more days. Obama’s radio talks come days after he appeared on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.” Charles Gaba, a Michigan website developer whose enrollment tracking is widely followed, estimated that 7.4 million people will sign up in time for Jan. 1 coverage. That number could reach 12.5 million by Feb. 15, when open enrollment ends, he said. If the same percentage of people pay their premiums as they did in 2014 (88%), that would put 2015 enrollment around 11 million, topping the administration’s cautious projection of 9 million to 10 million.