Only 106,000 Americans Signed Up for Obamacare in October

Less than 2% of the 7 million Americans officials expect to do so

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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 6, 2013

Less than 2% of the 7 million Americans federal officials expect to sign up for new health insurance under Obamacare were able to do so in October, the Obama Administration said on Wednesday.

According to a detailed report released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 106,185 Americans chose new plans through new Obamacare exchanges during their first month in operation. The federal government included in this figure those who have purchased new plans and those who have selected plans but not yet paid for them.

The new federal exchange website handling Obamacare enrollment in 36 states, HealthCare.gov, has been particularly problematic since it launched on Oct. 1. The site has crashed, operated slowly, locked users out, sent error-ridden information to insurers and been taken off-line regularly for maintenance. The impact of the site’s dysfunction was illustrated in Wednesday’s HHS report. Just 25% of those who had signed up for new plans through the marketplaces did so through HealthCare.gov. Three-quarters signed up via state-run websites, which have, in many cases, functioned much better. New York and California alone accounted for almost half of the 106,185 total sign-ups reported on Wednesday.

In an indication of how the website difficulties are affecting enrollment, just 3.8% of those who have completed applications and are eligible to enroll in federal exchanges have selected a plan, compared with 20.9% for state-based exchanges, which have been unaffected by the worst of HealthCare.gov’s technical errors.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney acknowledged on Wednesday that the numbers fell well below the Administration’s expectations.

“I promise you that no one will be satisfied with the numbers because they will be below what we sought prior to the launch,” he told reporters about an hour before they were released.

Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said “even with the issues we’ve had, the marketplace is working.”

But House Speaker John Boehner said the numbers “underscore the urgent need for President Obama to allow people to keep the plans they have and like.”

“Above all, this report is a symbol of the failure of the President’s health care law,” Boehner said in a statement. “It is a rolling calamity that must be scrapped.”

In addition to those who have selected private insurance plans through Obamacare’s exchanges, HHS said 396,261 had been “assessed or deemed eligible for Medicaid or CHIP,” public insurance programs for low-income adults and children.

If the rollout of Obamacare’s exchange websites had gone more smoothly, it is likely more Americans would have signed up for new coverage by now. HHS said in its report that some 27 million people have visited the exchange websites so far. Sebelius has apologized before Congress for the bungled rollout of HealthCare.gov, and federal officials have repeatedly said the website will work smoothly “for the vast majority of users” by Nov. 30. Some congressional Republicans have called for Sebelius to resign over the error-ridden launch.

“The promise of quality, affordable coverage is increasingly becoming reality for this first wave of applicants to the Health Insurance Marketplaces,” Sebelius said in a statement on Wednesday.

Administration officials have said although they are disappointed by early technical problems hobbling HealthCare.gov and other exchange websites, they expected early enrollment to be slow. In her statement, Sebelius pointed to a similarly slow start in Massachusetts, which launched an Obamacare-like insurance-exchange system in 2007. “We expect enrollment will grow substantially throughout the next five months, mirroring the pattern that Massachusetts experienced,” she said.

Open enrollment through Obamacare exchanges lasts until March 31, although users must sign up for coverage by Dec. 15 for plans that start on Jan. 1. Those who do not have insurance before March 31 will face a tax penalty next year under a provision of the Affordable Care Act known as the individual mandate.

92 comments
leisureguy
leisureguy

Laughing best as I'm laughing last


7.4 million sign ups as of right now


http://acasignups.net/


Why am I not reading any stories about how the Obama administration managed to make its goal (or if, once the web-site got up and going, sign ups went smoothly as expected?)


If the story is too boring, why not just use the old standby of schoolyard taunts


Back last Christmas, conservatives were portraying all liberals as ineffectual pajama-boys.  Now that conservatives have discovered that the ACA grave they thought they were dancing on is likely holds their own reputation for veracity, what can we call them?



jjparkerjim121
jjparkerjim121

Has anyone ever noticed that when the leftist liberals get involved in anything they ruin it. Like our large cities, our public school systems, our universities, now our health care system. 

Liberals are like 6 year old children standing in line at the check out counter in the grocery store. Pulling things off the rack placing them in the cart, when you take those things out and place it back on the rack, they fall to the ground screaming, and crying, pounding their tiny little fists on the floor. 

Just like Obama ,Harry, and Nancy not willing to do anything, to fix this nightmare before it was released to the public. Banging their fists  on the floor. No we won't fit it!! WAAH!!! Just grin and bear it America!! We know what you wan't you are all imbeciles, this is why were providing you a one size fit all insurance  plan. 

che0ld
che0ld

Make it automatic, fool proof.  Simply take an affordable percentage out of IRS withholdings (unless one can prove they have their own coverage). 
I know it is not that simple, but it should be.  It must be.  Political red tape is crippling this country.

drudown
drudown

Right, it makes PERFECT sense. 

Just to summarize…the 24/7 (once mighty) media is completely transfixed like the GOP lap dog it is about each news-less turn of the ACA "roll out" such that- by doing so, now any 'favorable' or 'less flattering' "news development" is allegedly 'news', as if, in the end, ANY voter should be, what, (enter Ron Burgundy voice) "shocked, offended and too hurt" to learn that….after ALL the NEGATIVE media coverage, hateful/judgmental rhetoric, deliberately deceptive commercial speech and SCARE TACTICS by the GOP and lobbyist driven agenda (with a conspicuous series of admissions showing an overt conspiracy to "thwart" or "obstruct" the ACA)…he/she wouldn't expect the lower than possible enrollment?

the incidental "costs" or "inconvenience" of these people that allegedly "desperately" want to keep their NON-CONFORMING policies is SUBSTANTIALLY OUTWEIGHED by the long-term FISCAL BENEFIT THE ACA confers to the People and Nation as a whole. Sorry, the needs of the whole outweigh the alleged inconvenience to the few, i.e., particularly insofar that their purported self-perceived plight is most often wholly fabricated or- at a minimum- their ACTUAL "damages" completely unclear at this point because the ACA has not even been implemented yet.

“There are times when even justice brings harm with it.” - Sophocles

Incredibly, the "paid for" Media conspicuously omits ANY reference that the entire GOP members of Congress and, sadly, many GOP elated officials in the Several States are hell-bent on thwarting the implementation of the ACA, as if, in there end, such refusal to Faithfully Execute the Supreme Law of the Land does not, under the totality of the circumstances, exacerbate the purported "problems" cited as a pretext to (what else) "abolish" what has yet to even be put into its streamlined functioning. It can't be both.

Sorry, one cannot credibly “cite the low enrollment numbers” without dispassionately holding this smear campaign face to face, much less cite the alleged “rise in Health Care costs” without also calculating the "troubling" number of the ACTUAL, OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS to United States TAXPAYERS- not just to date, but ongoing- that have proximately resulted from GOP officials refusing to FAITHFULLY EXECUTE THE LAW OF THE LAND.

What, the ACA passing through THREE SEPARATE branches of our government is not DULY ENACTED FEDERAL LAW? Or perhaps a SINGLE member of the Congress or GOP would care to cite the SPECIFIC case law that holds "partisan differences" or “allegiance to the base” or “will of the donors” trumps the Supremacy Clause?

Surely no elected leader in the GOP Congress (i.e., particularly if he/she is a member of the bar) can dispute that President Obama’s refusal to honor your Unconstitutional Legislative Veto request to "defund" the ACA is not, in fact, unlawful in itself by virtue of existing case law? Or should members of the bar serving the PEOPLE in Congress that happen to be GOP just "forget" our rule of law PRECLUDES such State Action [see, e.g., INS v Chadha (1982) 462 U.S. 919]?

Above all, it is beyond disingenuous to have the "paid for" media dispense (literally) negative story after story on the purported (enter dramatic Halloween screech) "horrors" of the ACA website and/or implementation and/or wholly unfounded "hidden costs" or "tax increases" and then, what, "cite" the "low enrollment numbers", as if, in the end, there is not a causal link between the aforementioned, pre-meditated effort by the GOP, its lobbyist regime and "paid for" media to discredit the ACA before it is even up and running and "lower than expected" enrollment numbers?

Try to be serious.

"The politician is condemned when the lawbreaker is acquitted." - Publilius Syrus (1st Cen. B.C.)

How can ANYONE even whisper "abolishing" the ACA without approximating the fiscal cost of “repealing” or "defunding" Obamacare- that is, approximate the ACTUAL, out-of-pocket cost including, but not limited to (1) the rising, unsustainable costs of Health Care under the prior format to be reinstated [i.e., with ZERO guarantees whatsoever they won’t be HIGHER]; (2) the direct and indirect costs to date of passing Obamacare and implementation [i.e., what, do you think the People don’t absorb the ACTUAL costs to date if the GOP gets to “repeal” or “undo” Obamacare?] and (3) then add, of course, the direct and indirect costs of "changing back to the old laws."

HELLO….somebody in DC (and/or good with a calculator at the CBO)…(enter McCain campaign voice) "why not do math across state lines, why not?" run these projected numbers for the People immediately. That way, the "paid for" 'expert witnesses' with a financial bias on TV would have to reconcile the self-evident imprudence of the "dropping the ACA" nonsensical dream that would just COST the TAXPAYERS PROHIBITIVELY and focus on the immediate INJURY of the GOP Congress' unlawful rendition of "jury nullification"…dispassionately.

"Opportunity makes a thief." - Francis Bacon 


richard40
richard40

So far about 10 times as many people have lost coverage from the forced cancellations, as have gotten new plans at the site.  So basically so far the ACA is doing an excellent job of rapidly expanding the ranks of the uninsured.

barneydidit
barneydidit

@richard40 except they're not actually uninsured richard, they just received notices, not actual cancellations. 

j45ashton
j45ashton

Obummercare?  Who writes these stupid headlines?  

When the flap is over, one way or another the issues will be crystallized for the public.  We currently have a healthcare system that doesn't work.  That is replete with inflated tests and costs,  junk policies and millions of uninsured...all of which costs the American taxpayers money because the uninsured get treated eventually and those with junk policies also get treated all at inflated public expense.  So what's the answer?  Republicans say...here's some cash (probably not enough)...go get policies from the old marketplace and when you run out of money...then what?  Die in the hospital parking lot after you've been refused?  Or get paid for by the tax payer just like today? 

rolling1100
rolling1100

police should reinforce  obamacare set up checkpoints make life so miserable so everybody will buy setup some 

obama-punishment camps

for example ...don't have obamacare  5oo hours community service clean up dirt some places are so dirty some time I wonder if  it is USA or some African country garbage flying everywhere 

rolling1100
rolling1100

hmm I think nobody wont to buy anything from a black guy to many racists did you heard Oprah Winfrey

hypnocoosh
hypnocoosh

The GOP never wanted the ACA to fail. They never wanted it to begin with, just the like mass majority of the American taxpayers.

richard40
richard40

Truthfully predicting the ACA would fail, is not quite the same as wanting it to fail.  Its kind of like the engineer that tries to warn everybody that the new dam is poorly designed, and will fail and flood the valley, and therefore should not be built.  Everybody ingores his warnings, and when the dam does fail, and thousands die, they blame him for wanting the dam to fail.  If repubs show any joy, it is probably because they now have been proven totally right, after being called liers for years, when the only liers were the ones calling the repubs liers.

bojimbo26
bojimbo26

Either the programing wasn't written correctly , or there weren't enough servers to cope with the demand . Usual situation .

richard40
richard40

Its poor programming.  If it was just lack of servers, they would have bought more by now and fixed it already.

Tommy34684
Tommy34684

Does the 106,000 signed up include those that signed up in states that handled ObamaCare on their own? Or did the 106,000 sign up using Washington's software?

Diecash1
Diecash1

It includes the state exchanges and the federal website. IIRC, 26k was the number for the website.

richard40
richard40

And signup is not the same as actually bought something.  Many of those counted as signing up have put a plan in their shopping basket, but not actually paid for it yet, which means the real figure is probably much less.

DavidBell
DavidBell

Saying that Obamacare fell short is like saying that the Titanic didn't quite reach New York.

richard40
richard40

Yes, except at least with the titanic, only the passengers and their relatives got harmed.  This mess is going to screw up the entire nation.

DavidFarrar
DavidFarrar

"...nobody is put in a position where their plans have been canceled and they can’t afford a better plan."...Baghdad Carney.

Obama has made the decision the government will make the decision from now on who your doctor will be and how you will be treated; not you, the patient.

The only way Senate Democrats are going to be able to stop Obama and Obamacare from destroying millions of personal health care decisions in time to save their own political skins is through impeachment. The man's a communist and he has made the decision to enslave us all.

ex animo

davidfarrar

DavidFarrar
DavidFarrar

@aztecian @DavidFarrar 

Baghdad Carney...

"It will be sooner rather than later."

Wait for it. 

ex animo

davidfarrar

richard40
richard40

Actually obamas idea with the ACA, of seizing absoloute control of the insurance companies, without actually nationalizing them, is indeed more Fascist than Marxist.  The proposed dem followup when this fails, single payer, is the plan that is socialist/marxist.  The idea of fascist economics is the gov takes total control while leaving the private owners with the illusion of ownership (illusion because ownership without control is not real ownership).  Fascist economics has 2 advantages, both of which Obama is now using:

1.  You get less opposition from the private owners, since their ownership and profits are still guaranteed.  (and they are guaranteed, if you remember that the ACA has a bailout provision if profits are not enough.   The insurance companies were not stupid when they supported this, they knew obama has this crony capitalist provision to protect them, even if it failed).

2.  Any failures can be falsely blamed on the private entities (as obama spinners have already tried to do), even though the private insurance companies cant sneeze without permission from HHS and Sebelius, thus providing an easy lying excuse for failure.  This fits in with Obamas philosophy, where he always makes sure he has somebody to blame for his failures.

aztecian
aztecian

@DavidFarrar easy now cowboy.  who are you, McCarthy?  this is not communism.  next you will say facist and racist.  go take a chill pill.

AndrewWest1
AndrewWest1

 Everything about Obamacare is simply a non-starter. It was a failed plan from the beginning because the goal was simply to “bend the cost curve.” Our healthcare system is exceeding $3 trillion a year and everyone who has objectively examined the numbers acknowledges that there is $1 trillion in waste and inefficiency. That $1 trillion will now continue to grow and will exceed 20% of our GDP.

Healthcare will bankrupt the US by 2020 if it isn’t fixed. Nothing about Obamacare was intended to fix anything. Our President does not understand the healthcare industry and certain soundbites to make it appear otherwise have come back to haunt him. Had he invested the time to understand the healthcare industry, maybe he could have made a difference. Instead, he hired "experts" in the industry to do what they've done for decades - protect their own interests. Everyone is still gaming the system - wasting $1 trillion a year.

There is a solution. It’s coming.

richard40
richard40

As long as that solution is not single payer.  The idea that we can replace a failing big fed gov takeover with an even bigger fed gov takeover, so we can fail even bigger, is totally insane.

grape_crush
grape_crush

> Only 106,000 Americans Signed Up For Obamacare in October...Less than two percent of the 7 million Americans officials expect to do so

Seven million people were expected to sign up in the month of October? Heck, even I wouldn't have expected that to happen.

Oh, wait. That's just a poorly-written and misleading headline. While the enrollment numbers are lower than expectations, it's far too early to write off the effort. For comparison purposes, look at Massachusetts:

Of the 36,167 people who eventually enrolled in premium-charging plans from Commonwealth Care, 123 signed up in the first month. That’s right—one hundred and twenty-three, or about 0.3 percent. Over the first two months, the number was a bit larger—2,289. But that’s still just 6.3 percent.  

The analogy to Obamacare is far from perfect, in that Commonwealth Care didn’t include wealthier people who didn't qualify for subsidies. (In the Massachusetts scheme, they essentially had a separate exchange—and enrollment there began half a year later.) Also, the Massachusetts open enrollment period was twice as long. So it’s reasonable to expect that, with a fully functional website, early enrollment in Obamacare private plans would be higher than those numbers above suggest. But the general point stands. Very few people sign up for insurance in the first few months. Most wait until much later in the game. 

Time and time again, this administration has proven the mouth breathers on the right to be full of bile and hot air. I'm happy to wait and see if or when this happens again regarding the Affordable Care Act.

chrisl
chrisl

@grape_crush Nowhere does it say 7 MILLION were expected to sign up in October...That's your comprehension or lack there of! 7 Million are needed by the last day of open enrollment! Now you can add, to that, the cancellations we read about that have estimates between 3 & 5 Million more....As for the BILE? That's just ignorance bleeding through from those that have no other form of communication! I prefer to whoop ass with FACTS! Enjoy your evening!

grape_crush
grape_crush

@chrisl@grape_crush > Nowhere does it say 7 MILLION were expected to sign up in October..

That was my point. If your own reading comprehension was functioning past the first two sentences, you would have seen the words, "Oh, wait. That's just a poorly-written and misleading headline."

It's criticism of whoever wrote the headline for this article, dummy, in that it's written to say something that isn't true and gives a false impression of fact for casual observers.

> That's just ignorance bleeding through from those that have no other form of communication!

True, and I'm probably gonna steal that line for use at a later date.

richard40
richard40

So if we get to Mar, and we still have less than half of the needed 7M. will you then be prepared to admit that the ACA was a total failure, and should be repealed, or will you just change your spin.  My guess is you are just spinning and making excuses now, and will give us more spin if it is still failing.  But prove me wrong, give an absoute committment now that if you dont have at least 3M signed up by Mar (about half the required nmber), you will admit the ACA is a total failure, and you will then support repeal, and be prepared to admit you were wrong, and vote against anybody who does not support repeal.

icowrich
icowrich

@richard40"give an absoute committment now that if you dont have at least 3M signed up by Mar"

3.75 million by mid-Feb with a month and a half to go.  Is that good enough, or do you want to "just change your spin," now? 

richard40
richard40

@icowrich @richard40 The 3.75 number is bogus, rated as deceptive by fact checkers, since it included medicaid signups that obamacare was not responsible for.  Things are not quite as disastrous as when this article was written, but sill behind.  With 1 mo left, we will see if they make the 7m, and I mean 7m paying customers, not phony figures.  Of course even if you make the 7m figure, it only proves that obamacare has not obviously failed yet, there are still plenty of hurdles left to prove success.