Vice President Joe Biden admitted that the number of Obamacare enrollees will likely fall short by one or two million people.
"We may not get to seven million, we may get to five or six, but that's a hell of a start," Biden told folks in a Minneapolis cafe today. "I'm here to say thanks."
The Obama adminstration hoped that seven million people would enroll in Obamacare during the first open-enrollment period.
Biden also told the folks at the cafe that he's personally "been a significant consumer of healthcare," but, he added, "I'm not bragging about it."
Via the pool report:
Biden touched down at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport at 3:30 p.m. A few minutes later, he exited onto the tarmac wearing a navy scarf, navy suit and striped tie. He saluted an airman who stood at attention before he warmly greeted a staffer.
The motorcade headed toward Minneapolis in deserted northbound lanes of I-35W north while southbound traffic slowed to gawk.
Office workers hung out of windows and snapped photos on an unseasonably warm day as the motorcade rolled through downtown Minneapolis, arriving at Moose & Sadie's cafe shortly after 4 p.m. Biden greeted cafe staff and customers before sitting down with Rachel Lozano, Julie Peck, Karen Kepple and Anna Olson Racer, all who have either benefited from the Affordable Care Act or are helping others get signed up.
"Don't get up," he said when they stood to greet him.
Biden sat down and leaned in, speaking quietly, his hoarse voice difficult to hear over the din of the cafe.
"Look, thank you for what you're doing," he told them, adding that between a serious car accident and brain anuearyam [sic], "I've been a significant consumer of healthcare, and I'm not bragging about it."
During those hospital stays, "All I kept thinking about was 'Thank God I had all this insurance.'"
Biden added that the goal is to sign up seven million people by the March 31 deadline.
"We may not get to seven million, we may get to five or six, but that's a hell of a start," he said. "I'm here to say thanks."
After the visit, Biden was expected to attend a private Democratic National Committee fundraiser at downtown Minneapolis restaurant The Bachelor Farmer, owned by the sons of Gov. Mark Dayton.