Obama Administration Announces Insurance Enrollment Numbers

The Obama administration announced just how low insurance enrollment has been on healthcare.gov.

The highly anticipated first month numbers came after the sixth congressional hearing asking what went wrong with the website's launch.

The Obama administration says a little more than 106,000 people selected health insurance plans during the first month of operation. Most did so in states running their own exchanges, and less than 27,000 signed-up on the federal website.

No one will be satisfied with numbers, because they will be lower than what we sought.

The White House initially hoped for 500,000 enrollees, and points to all the problems with healthcare.gov.

Lawmakers quizzed the government's chief technology officers about what could have been done to prevent a disastrous website launch

“No one who is responsible for the rollout is willing to say we should have done things differently,” said Rep. Scott Desjarlais

Republicans on the house oversight committee wanted to know why the launch date wasn't delayed, and why a planned feature to allow consumers to browse plans anonymously was disabled.

The witnesses said that the answers were related to policy, not technology.

The committee did learn progress is being made on the website. The time to load a page has been reduced from 8 seconds to less than 1.

The witnesses were also optimistic the majority of the website's problems will be fixed by the end of the month.

Almost a million people have been able to complete applications on website or through their state exchange, but haven't selected a plan.

Nearly 400,000 who have been through the process are not expected to buy plans because they are eligible for Medicaid.

The White House is also working on a way to help nearly 5 million people who've learned they lose their current coverage.

House Republicans are set to vote on a bill at the end of the week that would let those consumers keep their plans.


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