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Record 31 million Americans have health-care coverage through Affordable Care Act, White House says

The website in 2017. (Alex Brandon/AP)

About 31 million Americans now have health-care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, the White House announced Saturday, setting a record since the law, colloquially known as “Obamacare,” was enacted in 2010 under President Barack Obama.

According to a report from the Health and Human Services Department, about 11.3 million Americans were enrolled in health-care plans through the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplaces as of February, with 14.8 million people newly enrolled in Medicaid through the law’s expansion of eligibility as of December. The report also counted an additional 3.9 million Medicaid-enrolled adults who would have been eligible even before the Affordable Care Act but credited “enhanced outreach, streamlined applications, and increased federal funding” from the law for the numbers.

The report also said 1 million people were enrolled in the Affordable Care Act’s Basic Health Program option, which covers people whose incomes are just slightly too high to qualify them for Medicaid, as well as for some immigrants.

In addition, this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, President Biden ordered an extended three-month enrollment period for people to buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplaces at More than 1.2 million additional Americans enrolled in health-care plans through Obamacare during that special enrollment period, the report said.

To commemorate the milestone, Biden spoke with Obama in a taped Zoom conversation that was released by the White House on Saturday.

“Really good news, folks. Great news: 31 million people are now covered by the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said. “And I know someone who’s going to really want to know that number is up as high as it is. I got to call this fella.”

Obama credited Biden for continuing to build on the health-care law they had established during their administration and also praised him for extending the special enrollment period at because of the pandemic.

“Joe Biden, we did this together. We always talked about how if we could get the principle of universal coverage established, we could then build on it,” Obama said.

Biden also made passing reference to the number of times Republicans have tried to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court, which has so far upheld the law in two challenges to Obamacare, will soon consider a third challenge.

“The effort was worth it. The families that have been able to care for their loved ones, be cured, have access to care, that all makes it worthwhile,” Obama said.

In March, Biden announced that his administration was once again extending the special enrollment period for, this time until Aug. 15. On Saturday, both he and Obama encouraged those who still needed insurance coverage to visit

“ works like a charm these days,” Obama quipped, a nod at the federal website’s problem-riddled launch in 2013.


An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that launched in 2010. It launched in 2013. This article has been corrected.

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