Some good news, some bad news, and some downright ugly news for Obamacare devotees. First the good news: According to an exclusive look at the earliest enrollment figures courtesy of Mail Online, some 51,000 people completed Obamacare applications during the first week the Healthcare.gov website was online. That information reportedly comes from sources inside the Department of Health and Human Services.
The bad news is that rhe law’s cheerleaders, which include the president, are banking on tens of millions of Americans in 36 states signing up. With open enrollment slated to last for six months, the first week’s totals project to a paltry 1.32 million enrollees. That number is less than 29% of the 7 million subscribers the Obama administration would need to balance the new health insurance system’s books and keep it from financial collapse, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Now for the ugly news. First, the release of these figures makes liars of administration spokespeople, including Jay Carney and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who have insisted that the enrollment statistics are not yet available. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who chairs the House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee, said:
The White House and HHS have continually claimed they did not have these figures. If they do, they have misled the Congress and the American people.
He added that the numbers show “that relatively few people have navigated the challenges of the first step of the process — roughly the population of a small town in my district.”
And there’s more. The low numbers also reflect technological frustration on the part of consumers whose attempts to investigate their new health insurance options have been greeted by crashes, error messages, and interminable delays.
Potential registrants talking to phone support … have been told that all user passwords are being reset to help address the site’s login woes. And the tech supports behind Healthcare.gov will be asking more users to act in the name of fixing the site, too. According to registrants speaking with Ars, individuals whose logins never made it to the site’s database will have to re-register using a different username, as their previously chosen names are now stuck in authentication limbo.