The goal of the Affordable Care Act was to insure more people at a lower cost. Affordability is still a moving target. At least in Connecticut, the enrollment numbers are looking good. State officials announced that they have beaten their goal of enrolling 100,000 people in the Affordable Care Act by March 31 by more than 20 percent.
Standing in a storefront for Access Health CT in New Haven, Governor Dannel Malloy praised the work of the state's health care exchange.
"This is a tremendous accomplishment, and really a momentous milestone to have reached," Malloy said. Officials said the total number of uninsured in the state is around 280,000 people, or around 8.6 percent of the state's population.
It's important to note that some of 120,000 people now insured under Obamacare in the state may have had insurance before. Officials said they're trying to figure out how many of the newly-enrolled are actually newly-insured.
Kevin Counihan, head of the state's exchange, said, "Indications, so far, are that at the end of that analysis, it will be the first time we'll be able to announce that the uninsured level in our state will be below eight percent. Have we got this nailed? Absolutely not. But we're making progress, and we're absolutely thrilled about this milestone today."
To celebrate what they said is the law's success, officials highlighted the experience of Julia Santos. Back in 2012, she had a heart attack, and then an aneurysm. When she retired and went to get health insurance, she was denied because of that heart attack and aneurysm. Now, because Obamacare mandates that you can't be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, Santos is covered.
"I don't have to be afraid if I have to go back to the hospital again," Santos said. "But my granddaughter told me, 'Grandma, you're not going back.' But it's good to know that I have health insurance, and I do thank you."
Open enrollment for coverage this year ends March 31.