WASHINGTON D.C. – On Wednesday, the Obama administration finally released its first numbers for Obamacare health insurance exchange enrollment dating from October 1 to October 31. The numbers were not pretty: just 106,185 people â€œselected a Marketplace planâ€ using the exchanges, after the administration predicted that 494,620 people would do so.
Even the Associated Press was forced to lament the â€œdismal numbers.â€ The federal health care exchange signed up less than 27,000 people. Meanwhile, nearly 7 million people are expected to lose the insurance plans President Obama said they could keep. So far, five million have lost their insurance.
The state numbers were far from encouraging. Overall, the states signed up 79,391 people. California led the way with 35,364 people who have selected a plan (as opposed to 1 million who have lost a plan); New York came in second at 16,404 (at least 100,000 New Yorkers have lost their insurance); Washington came in third at 7,091 (290,000 have lost their insurance in Washington); and Kentucky came in at 5,586 (280,000 lost their insurance in Kentucky).
The Department of Health and Human Services attempted to spin the numbers as a victory, proclaiming, â€œThe first month enrollment experience in the Marketplace exceeds comparable first month enrollment in the Commonwealth Care program in the Massachusetts Health Connector.â€ But even the HHS was forced to admit that the total number represented just â€œ1.5 percent of the estimated enrollees at the end of the 2014 open enrollment period.â€
Just as shocking, while HHS reported that 846,184 applications were completed using the marketplaces, which would have covered over 1.5 million people, just 106,000 actually enrolled. But HHS reported its attempts to give Americans information as a victory: â€œThe Marketplaces have helped a total of 1,477,853 persons by determining or assessing that they are either eligible to enroll in a Marketplace planâ€¦with or without financial assistance, or in Medicaid or the Childrenâ€™s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).â€