Obamacare Signups Are Killing It

Obamacare signups are coming on like gangbusters:

Healthcare.gov enrollment has surged at least 47 percent higher than during the same period last year, CMS announced yesterday. Nearly 1.5 million Americans selected plans on Healthcare.gov in the first 11 days of the sign-up period — a shockingly high number that has surprised just about everyone, given that the administration whittled down the advertising budget touting the open enrollment window by 90 percent.

If you figure that signups on the state exchanges are also up 47 percent from last year, then about 3 million people have signed up so far. I know you’re itching to see this in chart form, so here it is through November 11:

Why are signups so far ahead of last year? No one knows. Maybe word of the shortened signup period was widespread, and lots of people are rushing to enroll quickly. Maybe months of trying to kill Obamacare acted as good advertising (in the “say anything you want, just spell my name right” sense). Maybe liberals are beating the bushes extra hard to sign people up.

The big question is whether this surge is enough to match last year’s enrollment even with the short signup period. It will be a while before we know that.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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