The Washington Post

So the Obamacare goal was 7 million?


(Mike Segar/Reuters)

It was New Year’s Eve for the Obama administration Monday night, as White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park counted down until the midnight Obamacare deadline and celebrated surpassing 7 million enrollments with a champagne toast.

Park rallied employees of QSSI, the Columbia, Md.-based software company tasked with rescuing HealthCare.gov after its tumultuous start. April Ryan, American Urban Radio Networks’ White House reporter, posted audio on her Web site of Park’s locker room-style speech to the tech team.

When hitting 7 million enrollments seemed far out of reach, White House officials denied that the number was ever an actual benchmark, but simply a number floated by the Congressional Budget Office. With enrollments at a crawl when the marketplaces first opened, the Obama administration tripped over itself to temper expectations. (Our resident fact checker Glenn Kessler gave the White House “two Pinocchios” in January for minimizing the 7 million target.)

But surpassing that magic number sure was cause for celebration for Park and the IT team.

“There was a number actually set out by the Congressional Budget Office … and everyone thought that was impossible, especially after we had the rocky start,” Park says on the recording. “And actually I’m proud to tell you y’all, and you’re the first to know, that y’all with this day alone … have carried the ball over the impossible line. We actually exceeded the 7 million enrollments.”

And the crowd went wild. So, as is no surprise to anyone, 7 million always was the goal.

Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, with 12 points over Ben Carson.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 18%
Quoted
We'll have half a million voters in South Carolina. I can shake a lot of hands, but I can't shake that many.
Sen. Marco Rubio, speaking to a group of reporters about his strategy to regain support after a poor performance in the last debate
Fact Checker
Sanders’s claim that Clinton objected to meeting with ‘our enemies’
Sanders said that Clinton was critical of Obama in 2008 for suggesting meeting with Iran. In fact, Clinton and Obama differed over whether to set preconditions, not about meeting with enemies. Once in office, Obama followed the course suggested by Clinton, abandoning an earlier position as unrealistic.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands
Most Read

politics

in-the-loop

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.