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WASHINGTON — As many as 3 million people have enrolled in private health insurance as part of the Affordable Care Act. Enrollment has been up by more than one-third in recent weeks.
"They represent significant progress in enrollments or signups to the marketplaces, both federal and state — roughly 3 million people so far, and I think from what I saw, more than 800,000 in January," noted White House press secretary Jay Carney during a press briefing on Friday. "That’s obviously a dramatic improvement over what we saw in the very beginning, in October and November. We saw a surge in December as the website fixes began to take effect, and those improvements continue to result in more and more Americans being able to sign up on these marketplaces," he said. "And I think it demonstrates that the problems we had early on with the website were the obstacle."
The number may be used to highlight the progress of healthcare reform during President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech on Tuesday.
"We often talk about the grit and determination of the American people," Carney said. "They're the reason why we have climbed out of the worst recession since the Great Depression. They're the reason why the President is optimistic about this year and the potential that this year has for further economic growth and job creation," he said. "They're also the reason, and their grit and determination is also the reason why, even faced with the obstacles that we put in front of them with the crummy start to the website, they have demonstrated a persistence in their desire for the product that’s on offer here, which is quality, affordable health insurance. And that’s what today's numbers represent."