How Many Have Enrolled In Obamacare?

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 3 2013 @ 7:08pm

Suderman wants to know:

The administration, which has been quick to tout its web traffic figures as evidence that the exchanges are in high demand, could end any uncertainty about enrollment in the federal exchanges by releasing enrollment figures for the federal exchanges. But they haven’t yet. Is that because the numbers so far are so low that they would undermine the administration’s argument that Obamacare is valuable because it is in high demand?

 Christopher Flavelle also requests enrollment numbers:

Sure, an exceedingly small number of applications — in the low thousands, say — would spark early criticism of the law’s long-term prospects. But Democrats never promised a surge of early applicants, so whether the number of people signed up so far is 10,000 or a million, the administration has grounds to claim a win. After all, the enrollment period lasts six months because it will take people time to adjust to a new benefit and a new system for getting that benefit.

Maybe it seems reasonable from the government’s perspective to avoid taking chances. The Obama administration, and in particular HHS, has been so thoroughly buffeted by criticism over this law that it’s adopted a mindset of sharing only the information that it must — and even then, delaying that information as long as possible. If that’s the explanation, it’s time for the agency to start emerging from its bunker mentality.

Update from a reader:

Are they kidding? This isn’t buying an iPhone that can be used that very day. This is purchasing insurance that will begin in THREE months, and if purchased today, will have to be paid for today. Who in their right minds will pay for something today that doesn’t start in three months?


The fact or speculation that few people have actually signed up for insurance immediately is not indicative of anything. Insurance is complicated and expensive and we should not expect newcomers to rush into any decisions immediately. At my workplace during open enrollment, we have several weeks to sort through all our options and many of us wait until the late day to decide which plan to choose. Those who are just itching to call the ACA a failure should be forced to wait at least a few weeks before anyone should pay any attention to them.