February 20th, 2014
09:40 AM ET
6 years ago

Biden on health care sign-ups: 'Hell of a start'

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged that the Obama administration may fall short of its original unofficial target of signing up seven million people to the new health care law by the end of March. But the Vice President said that signing up five to six million would be a good start.

"Initially we talked about by the end of this period having seven million people lined up. We may not get to seven, we may get to five or six, and that's a hell of a start," Biden said Wednesday in Minneapolis.

Biden made his comments at an unannounced stop at a coffee shop, where he visited with a group of women who had signed up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Biden was in Minnesota to headline a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee.

Open enrollment to sign up for health insurance through the federal and state exchanges set up by the new law ends on March 31. After that deadline, people without insurance face federal tax penalties.

Numerous technical problems plagued key components of the federal exchange's initial rollout, as well as some of the state exchanges. The botched start-up fueled Republican attacks on Obamacare, which was passed by Congress in 2010, when Democrats controlled both chambers.

The government reported earlier this month that 1.1 million people signed up for health insurance through the exchanges in January, bringing to nearly 3.3 million the number of people who've signed up since the exchanges opened for business at the beginning of October.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projected that six million people would enroll in the exchanges for coverage in 2014.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Joe Biden • Obamacare
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. HenryMiller

    "Hellish" is the appropriate word for Obamacare.

    February 20, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    My fellow Republicans have to accept that we lost this battle. And we lost for the same reason we will loose in 2016. We have to give the people something to fight for,tell them what we stand for. I swear all we seem to do is bash and complain. The men are acting like woman. its just crazy.

    February 20, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    We're drawing down to the end of February. I suspect another million signed up this month plus another half a million to a million will sign up in March. So 5 or 6 million looks like it's in sight. Eat your heart out conservatives.

    February 20, 2014 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. Tampa Tim

    Do the over three million students who, under ACA, were allowed to stay on their parents plan, plus the 8 million now eligible for Medicare (except in red states) and the 3.3 million who signed up, have to give up their insurance if republicans repeal ACA?

    February 20, 2014 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. smith

    How they thought they would get to 7 million by the end of March is mind boggling. All the costs are up front and people can`t afford it.

    February 20, 2014 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Biden made his comments at an unannounced stop at a coffee shop, where he visited with a group of women who had signed up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
    ------------------------
    Don't you mean dirisively known as Obamacare? Obamacare is so full of misrepresentations that most people are afraid of it, myself included. Good grief, man, it has death panels. It's coming for granny. If the insurance company follows standard practice of issuing new plans every so often, then it's the President's fault that your plan was canceled, which means he lied to you.

    February 20, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. Gunderson

    UM,
    P.T. Barnum say there's a sucker born every minute, eh, Joe.

    February 20, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. Enough is Enough

    So what about the people who lost insurance because of this law? Some estimates put the number of cancelled policies at over 7 million (yes, that's a fact....look it up) So Mr Vice-President, if 7 million had their insurance canelled, and you add 5 million via the healthcare exchanges you are still in the hole by 2 million. Yup, you're right – that is one hell of a start!

    February 20, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. Stuffitu

    Jobs looking really bad. Can you imagine the true rate of unemployment if we counted the people who have dropped out of the labor force due to the inept, incompetent policies of the corrupt regime? It's kind of like how they are hiding the true inflation rate. And now they are trying to kill another 500,000 jobs with the raise in the minimum wage, which was raised by the corrupt union controlled democrats when they regained control of the Congrss in January, 2007 (check what month the recession startedI. And this hair plugged idiot proclaimed 2010 as the "summer of prosperity" after the democrat liberal progressives gave a trillion dollars to the corrupt union, welfare frauds and dope addicts. They also passed Obozocare before those who actually work and pay taxes joined the TEA party and threw them put which caused the democrat controlled media to demean, defame and degrade us in a relentless attack. Thank God, the liberal elites still don' have a clue how much they have inflamed us with their attacks. They may fool the mindless product that the corrupt teachers unions put out, but they can't fool people who actually pay the costs.

    February 20, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    The regime is lying to the public about the numbers of signups. The insurance companies have AlREADY exposed that fact........but CNN seems to have missed the memo!

    February 20, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. bcrunner

    Considering the awful rollout, if they get to 6 million, that would be a good start... Romneycare didn't do so well to start and the Medicare Part D did not do so well either...

    February 20, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Harold Read

    Lol!
    – More people lost their policies than those who "signed"-up
    – the Obama Administration cannot/will not provide accurate enrollment numbers as promised
    – sign-up deadlines have been illegally pushed back to try and reach the 7 million quota
    – no mention of the "death-spiral" enrollment number that Obamacare has to reach or it will be unsustainable

    Just as Max Baucus, one of the chief Obamacare architects and new Obama appointed Ambassador to China even though he stated he "was no expert on the country", said: "Trainwreck"

    February 20, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. yippeeskip

    As usual, old Elastic Mouth is full of it...

    February 20, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. Johnny

    Just because you say it, and are expressive in asserting it, doesn't make it qualitatively true, Joe. You are the master exaggerator.

    February 20, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. Me

    "The government reported earlier this month that 1.1 million people signed up for health insurance through the exchanges in January, bringing to nearly 3.3 million the number of people who've signed up since the exchanges opened for business at the beginning of October."
    _____________________________
    Interesting, where is this 10 million number the "gang" throws out on a daily basis.....3.3 million and if you net out the cancelled poliicies, it is probably negative!!! FAIL!

    February 20, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. S.B. Stein

    I would hope that everyone would sign up if they don't have it. If I were an employer that could afford to help the employees with their individual mandate, I would until the business exchange was set up. Fortunately, my employer has health insurance as a part of the pay package.

    February 20, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. Facepalm

    Never mind the 30+ million that lost their coverage due to the ACA. Or those that are now paying double for similar or less coverage with higher deductibles. That's one hell of a start!

    February 20, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. Peppe1011

    I have made this prediction and guess what the left wing CNN population said it wasn't true. Now here comes VP Biden with a admission, however he is still thinking that this healthcare is the best since slice bread.

    Again I say this. "Mark my words, this Obamacare will cost taxpayer more money, longer lines to see a specialist, diminished care, more expensive rates and higher deductables."

    February 20, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. lobo

    If we weren't so determined to destroy ACA, maybe we should work on saving the parts we like, and fixing those we oppose?

    February 20, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. Government Waste Rules

    Great.... Now how many people are actually PAYING?

    February 20, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. Jerry5555

    Is this a joke?

    February 20, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. Fred Pratt

    This man is a parody of the stereotype of a politician. I cannot believe that this man is the best this formerly-great nation can call to leadership.

    February 20, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. Abbey

    'Hell of a start.'

    Clearly this statement surpass the one from the Hurricane Katrina response from F.E.M.A.

    Democrats+Demagoguery=Failure

    February 20, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. barbara

    Does he still think it's a good start that people are increasingly receiving cancellation letters from their care providers?
    Does he still think it's a good start when people who have signed up find out that none of their doctors, especially specialists are in the network? That the doctors in their network are practically none existent. With the cost and taxes associated with this program, this is a huge money grab for the government. Does he still think it's good that many people who have lost their insurance now find that Obamacare is too expensive? Is he living on the same planet?

    February 20, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. b

    "The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projected that six million people would enroll in the exchanges for coverage in 2014." -----They projected 7 MILLION would sign up, not 6. Nice CNN, trying to lower expectations for your pal Obama.

    February 20, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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