The White House revealed today that, since the launch of the various Obamacare websites, 106,185 people have been able to sign up for health insurance. The glitch-ridden federal website, Healthcare.gov, was responsible for only 26,794 of these enrollments. The remainder was drawn from the state exchanges. This is far lower than official projections: the administration expected approximately 500,000 enrollments.
These numbers are a capstone to weeks of bad press for the Affordable Care Act. The failed website was hardly the only publicly discussed grievance; ridiculous advertisements and rising premiums have been in the spotlight as well. Most dramatically, a large slew of cancelled individual health policies, to the tune of five million, have been attributed to the implementation of the controversial law. This prompted both sides of the aisle to accuse President Obama of lying when he said, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”
Apologists are already working around the clock to spin the calamitous developments, but in general things are looking very bad for the ACA. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius now regularly field questions about the possibility of delaying the individual mandate, or at least creating allowances for hardship. And open criticism from figures like former president Bill Clinton and California Senator Dianne Feinstein certainly won’t help.
The president’s approval numbers, meanwhile, have dropped to record lows for his presidency.