February 20th, 2014
09:40 AM ET
10 months 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. Enough is Enough

    By the way Joe – I didn't "lose" my healthcare through my employer. It was, however, modified so that it costs more per month and I have higher deductables, copays and out of pocket maximums. I was told that if I choose to retire, the company sponsored retiree plan that has been in place for years is no longer be offered. I will be required to go to the healthcare exchange. Thanks!! Thanks a lot!!

    February 20, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. kaneda

    Oh yes.. delaying businesses for another year.. 'Hell of a start'

    February 20, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. kim

    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?

    you are correct, however, the GOP has no clue, or offererings on how to do that, so as usual, it's all out war, that's there only way of "fixing " anything

    February 20, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Joebob

    Thanks for those profound words of wisdom. I swear this guys is the Homer Simpson of DC.

    February 20, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. jhag39

    They just keep lowering the bar and calling it a success. Obama is the 21st century Barnum

    February 20, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. sly

    Affordable Health Care will be one of the most important legislation signed in the past 50 years.

    Right up there with school integration and the right to vote.

    Thank you President Obama for lifting the ban on health care for 50 million of my fellow Americans. Truly a great President.

    February 20, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. SmokeNmirrors

    Oh, numbers from such a trustworthy administration! Now I hear the Government is putting minitors in newsrooms... Because we really want them to tell the truth... Sure. Ill buy that. Just got caugt inflating unemployment numbers, Benghazi, Obamacare "If you like your current doctor and healthplan, you can keep it", Circumventing the Constitution at every turn, executive orders galore, dozens of Navy Seals just dead right after high level ops, whats not to trust?

    February 20, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. My Own Private Idaho

    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?"
    =============
    They should have said that about our existing health care system rather than throwing away the baby with the bathwater enacting Obamacare.

    February 20, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. john

    Biden would seem a whole lot more intelligent if he'd learn to keep his mouth shut.

    February 20, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Tony

    b, CBO revised its projection. That piece of news apparently has not reached you.

    February 20, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. Tom

    Uncle Joe....can I borrow the keys to your Camaro?

    February 20, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. NeoKat1

    Why hasn't Biden been fired yet??

    February 20, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Peter

    Seriously people!!! Let's get on with the program...people DID NOT "loose" their insurance policies; people were moved to policies that provide better benefits than what they had before in order to meet the law requirements, and of course "better services = more cost" !!!! You can call every single insurance provider, in the Nation, and they will confirm that.

    What is really happening is that people want all the coverage, that the law requires, and not pay for the services!!!!

    The argument that people lost their insurance from "provided by their husband/wife's work" is just a scapegoat, because people don't want to accept that EMPLOYERS are ONLY REQUIRED to provide benefits to the EMPLOYEE, not the family!!!

    And with the argument "I lost my doctor," why don't they go a complaint to their doctor for not wanting to participate in the services provided by the programs? Ah, because we know the answer is that the doctor is not going to be making more money, than before..

    February 20, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. notfooledagain

    Way to go B0.

    February 20, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Jaggersden

    I saw an article about a week ago that if you were signed up and wanted to see a Dr. anything but emergency room has at least a 22 day wait, maybe it should be weight as it is a burden on the signee.

    February 20, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. jharry

    Is Joe Biden the most clueless politician in America?

    February 20, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. Matt

    Tampa Tim...Please stop with the nonsense. It's well known a vast majority of the sign-ups are for Medicaid, CHIP, or people that has filled something out and haven't paid a dime.

    February 20, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. midas360

    Biden is clueless.

    February 20, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Miguel

    Crazy Uncle Joe...He makes me laugh.

    February 20, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. smith

    Malory- How can call you call a person`s insurance policy crappy when you don`t know the details of that policy?

    February 20, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Trey

    This guy Biden, Kerry and Hillary Benghazi are the stupidest people in politics aside from monkey Obama

    February 20, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. Crampon

    Hasn't hit 1 million yet, they counting people already signed up for medicaid.

    February 20, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  23. Sunshine100

    Speaking of ObamaCare: IF you manage to get enrolled, choose your plan and doctor, call that doctor first before sending in your 1st payment, because most quality doctors claim to be not taking new patients – interesting that when I called and said I had Aetna, I was accepted as a new patient. I repeated my little test with 5 practices with the same result. So, the local doctors, at this time, are not accepting ObamaCare patients. I declined to enroll and found that my low income level entitled approval for governmental health clinic. At least I receive medical care and prescriptions at a much lower cost than ObamaCare.

    February 20, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. Trey

    Biden, Hillary Benghazi, Kerry and Obama turn politics into a disgraceful comedy

    February 20, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. smitvict

    Where in the law does it say Obama can delay implementation?

    February 20, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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