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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Democrats’ big investments in the Affordable Care Act appear to be paying off.

Driving the news: Almost 1 million Americans have signed up for ACA coverage since February, roughly half of them in April alone, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said yesterday.

Why it matters: The strong enrollment numbers could help Democrats make the case that some of their changes to the ACA should become permanent.

  • "The success of the ACA enrollment period has significance for the people who get newly covered or see their premiums or deductibles go down. It also has political significance for the Biden Administration, looking to build support for a permanent increase in premium subsidies," KFF executive vice president Larry Levitt tweeted.

What's happening: In its early days, the Biden administration created a special enrollment period that allows people to sign up for ACA coverage until the end of April.

  • And a temporary expansion of the ACA's premium subsidies, passed as part of coronavirus relief legislation, kicked in April 1.

By the numbers: The bigger subsidies have saved Americans a lot of money, according to CMS.

  • People who enrolled after April 1 are paying, on average, 25% less in premiums than people who signed up in February or March. Deductibles were about 90% lower for people who signed up after the bigger subsidies took effect.
  • About 2 million people have seen their premiums fall after going back through the system to recalculate their costs after April 1, CMS said. The average savings for that group was 40%.

What's next: The premium bump lasts for two years, but the Biden administration is looking to make it permanent.

What they're saying: "It’s not just large numbers, it’s increasingly large numbers and ... it’s also validating what we always knew: That affordability was a primary barrier to people uninsured and other people who require care," Democratic health strategist Chris Jennings tells Axios.

Go deeper

Biden administration announces 940,000 ACA sign-ups so far this year

Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

About 940,000 people have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act since February, the Biden administration announced Thursday.

The big picture: There was a surge in sign-ups of about 470,000 people in the month of April alone. New subsidies and stimulus began April 1.

Denver housing inventory expands, but sales go quick

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

More people are putting their homes on the market in Denver, but those homes are going under contract quicker than ever.

Why it matters: Even with a slight shift in the market, potential buyers still have to be ready to move quickly and be prepared for competition.

Biden says he raised human rights issues in Putin summit

President Biden with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16. Photo: Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images

President Biden said he raised issues including nuclear arms control, cybersecurity, election interference and violations of human rights in Russia in his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday.

What he's saying: "My agenda is not against Russia or anybody else. It's for the American people," Biden said at a press conference following the summit, which was shorter than expected.