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Florida Leads States Using Federal Obamacare Exchange

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(Source:www.healthcare.gov)

(Source:www.healthcare.gov)

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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Roughly 260,000 people enrolled in the Obamacare exchanges in November, more than double the October sign-ups that were plagued by a malfunctioning healthcare.gov website.

In Florida, 17,908 people signed up using the federal website. Florida, along with 36 other states, refused to set up its own exchange and like several other GOP-led states has turned down any expansion of Medicaid.

Overall, since enrollment started, around 365,000 people have signed up in the federal health exchanges. The numbers have been improving with each day, but are still far below the original expectations for the first two months of the program.

In addition to the 365,000 people enrolled in the exchanges, another 803,000 low-income Americans were able to qualify for Medicaid. Combined, the exchanges and Medicaid qualifiers were 1.2 million at the end of November.

“While we’ve made improvements there’s more work today,” Kathleen Sebelius said.

As numbers of enrollees continue to increase through the next few months; the Republican plan to completely repeal the healthcare law becomes less politically plausible. If signups jump to more than 2 or 3 million people in the next few months, the question of how the GOP would tell those people their insurance would be canceled will become increasingly problematic.

Still, Republicans are banking on Obamacare problems leading them to retake the Senate and maintain control of the House. Republican pundits have begun embracing a budget deal so that they can keep the focus on Obamacare, which is still incredibly unpopular among the energetic base of the GOP electorate.

According to Politico.com, while only 365,000 had selected a health plan; another 1.9 million had gone through the enrollment process to confirm their eligibility for the exchanges. How many of those 1.9 million and the millions of visitors finish the sign-up process could determine the political direction of Congress in 2014.

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