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Behind The Mic With Joe Mathieu: Comedy Boosts Health Care Enrollment

By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
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Joe Mathieu has returned to his professional home town and assumed the...
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BOSTON (CBS) – The magic number is 6 million.

That’s how many people the Congressional Budget Office said would sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act by the deadline on March 31st – a deadline that’s been softened for many people.

That goal was established after the botched rollout of Healthcare.gov. You might recall only 6 people signed up on the first day of enrollment.

Either way, the White House says it’s topped 6 million thanks to a recent surge of enrollments through state and federal exchanges.

The administration believes its selected use of media made the difference, especially the president’s appearance on a spoof talk show hosted by Zack Galifinakis. It’s called Between Two Ferns and it actually turned off a lot of people to see the president in that setting.

But the White House says it was very effective. As was a commercial featuring basketball star LeBron James. They believe outreach like this is working.

They say the web site processed more than 100,000 enrollments Monday and Tuesday each and it was visited 1.5 million times on Wednesday, suggesting the number will keep rising.

But some critics still question whether the right people are signing-up.

And the right people in this case are young and healthy. Obamacare, like any insurance system, needs them to offset the older, sick people.

This is where things get sticky. And we don’t have a clear breakdown on this.

We also don’t know how many of these 6 million were already insured.

To that end, a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds half of uninsured people in this country plan to stay that way.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz

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