Biden says 14.5 mln Americans have signed up for health insurance since November

U.S. President Joe Biden reacts to questions about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer after it was reported Breyer will retire at the end of the court's current term, as he hosts chief executives of major U.S. companies at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 26, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden said on Thursday 14.5 million Americans have signed up for health insurance since Nov. 1, attributing the progress to the passage of his pandemic relief package and the re-opening of an online health insurance marketplace last year.

The data includes more than 10 million who enrolled through a U.S government website during an open enrollment period, Biden said in a statement. He said the numbers were the "highest ever produced" during such an event.

The president also said one in seven uninsured Americans got covered between the end of 2020 and September 2021, with lower-income Americans gaining coverage at the highest rate, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"This did not happen by accident," Biden said. He said his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan did more to lower costs and expand health care access for Americans than any action since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Biden also said the opportunity to enroll for health insurance has been extended through Jan. 31 for Americans living in California, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington, DC — places with their own health insurance marketplaces.

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Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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