More Obamacare enrollees in two days than all of October: sources
By Steve Holland | December 4, 2013
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More people signed up on the government’s new health insurance website on the first two days of December than in the entire first month of the launch of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform, sources familiar with the numbers said on Wednesday.
The sources said about 29,000 people enrolled on Sunday and Monday, surpassing nearly 27,000 for all of October when the opening of the HealthCare.gov website was beset by glitches that led to a public apology by the president and a retooling of the portal…
So now they can tell us the figures? For a month and a half they said that it was impossible to give us any figures. But suddenly now they have numbers.
But why should we believe this 29,000 number, anyway? It could include Medicaid sign-ups, like the administration has been doing. And it is probably counts people who have ‘selected a plan,’ but not actually bought a plan. Which would cut that number in half.
And, we now know, at least one third of the people who thought they had bought a plan have not bought a plan, because their payment or paperwork did not go through.
The agency in charge of the healthcare policy rollout, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said on Wednesday that it would announce official numbers later in December.
When everyone will be busy doing other things. And when it will be too late to do anything about it anyway.
While enrollment is improving, the administration is still far off track of the 7 million people whom the Congressional Budget Office has said were expected to sign up for private insurance through March 31.
What an understatement. Even if we believe this 29,000 sign ups in two days number (which is probably a giant lie) and they manage to sustain this rate, signups for the entire month of December will still only reach 450,000. (Rounding off 29,000 to 30,000, dividing by half and multiplying by 30.)
That is a far cry from 7 million. In fact, it is even below HHS’s worst case estimate for their first months’ sign up, before all the glitches. (Which was 500,000 sign-ups.)
Also, insurers say they are struggling to cope with error-filled enrollment forms, a problem that may worsen as more people rush to meet the December 23 deadline to sign up for coverage that starts January 1…
What are the complaining about? They’ve got from Christmas Even until New Year’s Day to work around the clock to make things work.