Experts didn't think the White House could reach a goal of 7 million ObamaCare signups as of yesterday—but it looks like their forecasts were wrong. Officials say the administration was on track to receive more than 7 million signups, in line with the original Congressional Budget Office target numbers. That target had earlier been shrunk to 6 million following HealthCare.gov's troubled debut, the AP notes. Still, among the 7 million, it's uncertain how many had previously lacked any coverage; it also remains to be seen how many new enrollees complete the process by actually paying their first premiums.
"It's kind of the lead-up to Christmas right now, and all the last-minute shoppers are out," one health insurance marketer tells the Huffington Post of yesterday's flurry of new enrollees. The huge volume resulted in headaches and came amid site glitches, as HealthCare.gov struggled to keep up with traffic that at times topped 125,000 simultaneous visitors. The 7 million milestone is particularly impressive given the meager 26,000 the website managed to sign up in its first month, NBC News notes. Those who missed yesterday's deadline—and haven't qualified for one of nine extensions and exceptions to the rules—won't get another chance at open enrollment until November.