The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Wednesday that 106,185 people registered for Obamacare under federal and state-run exchanges during the first month of its disastrous rollout in October.
According to The Blaze, that is far below the Obama administration’s estimate last month of 500,000.
Nearly 26,794 people signed up for Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, through the flawed, multimillion-dollar Healthcare.gov website. The rest registered for state-run exchanges.
The figure includes people who have chosen a plan and shopped for it online, reports The Washington Post.
Speaking with reporters, Sebelius said the numbers will rise “substantially” over the next few months.
“I can guarantee you the number that is released will be lower than we had hoped and anticipated because of the problems with the website, and that is why it is so important to focus our energies on fixing the problems,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.
Carney has not discussed the data with President Obama yet.
“No one will be satisfied with the numbers because they will be below what we sought,” he said.
On the plus side, Yahoo News reports that Medicaid has signed up more than 400,000 people in 10 states since enrollment began in October. Approximately 975,000 people have already applied and checked if they’re qualified for health care.
Karen Politz, a senior fellow at Kaiser Family Foundation, says the number of people enrolling shows a demand for the insurance, but the error-filled website is preventing them from buying it.
“A million people don’t just do that because they’ve got nothing better to do,” Pollitz told Yahoo News. “I think they’re serious.”
“The report is a symbol of the failure of the president’s health care law,” Republican House Speaker John Boehner said about the figures. “It is a rolling calamity that must be scrapped.”