Joe Biden: Obamacare May Fall Short of Enrollment Goal

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FILE – President Barack Obama stands with Vice President Joe Biden as he makes a statement in this Dec. 19, 2012 file photo taken in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, about policies he will pursue following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct. Facing an end-of-the-month deadline, the Obama administration is calling gun owner groups, victims’ organizations and representatives from the video-game industry to the White House Biden will meet Wednesday Jan. 9, 2013 with gun violence victims’ groups and gun safety organizations, a White House official said. On Thursday, he will hold talks with gun ownership groups, as well as advocates for sportsmen. for discussions on potential policy proposals for curbing gun violence. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The federal government may not reach its goal of enrolling 7 million people in Obamacare by the towering March 31 deadline, Vice President Joe Biden warned this week, according to Reuters.

“We may not get to seven million, we may get to five or six, but that’s a hell of a start,” Biden said, according to a pool report of his meeting Wednesday with a small group of people in Minneapolis, who are working to help others sign up for insurance. He made the stop on the way to a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in the city.

The Congressional Budget Office recently reduced its Obamacare enrollment forecast for 2014 to 6 million, down from 7 million, the article says.

The retreat is not surprising. President Obama’s much-ballyhood health care law, whose official name the Affordable Care Act, got off to a rocky start in October when the web site used to search for insurance plans failed to operate properly for nearly two months.

The decrease comes even after the Obama administration announced last week that 3.3 million people enrolled in private Obamacare health plans between October 1 and Feb 1.

Despite a big push by the administration, minorities are not flocking toward the coverage. An estimated 19 percent of Latinos and 20 percent of Blacks have looked for health insurance on the exchanges, compared to 28 percent of Whites, according to a Commonwealth Fund survey, reports CNN Money.

Enrollment efforts have been hampered by delays in translating exchange web sites and materials into Spanish and other languages, the article says. An estimated 63 percent of Latinos surveyed by Latino Decisions, a political opinion research group, said they wanted Obamacare information in Spanish, CNN reports.

But Obamacare did not launch its Spanish language site, CuidadoDeSalud.gov, until December, and even then it fell under attack for being riddled with translation errors. Applicants are still unable to browse their choices in Spanish.

Now, the push is on to bring the merits of health insurance to Blacks, Latinos and other uninsured voters. The deadline for 2014 coverage is March 31.

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