Less Than 1% Of Exchange Visitors Are Signing Up For Obamacare
Yesterday we noted the little-white-lie that California had told by exaggerating the traffic to the Obamacare exchange by a factor 8. Well, it turns out that there is another somewhat exaggerated "fact" that appears to have permeated the mainstream media - that significant numbers of Americans have signed up for healthcare already. The absolutely dismal fact is, as The Daily Mail reports, from states such as California, Connecticut, and Vermont, less than 1% of exchange visitors are signing up for Obamacare.
As President Obama's signature health insurance overhaul effort began to enroll new participants on Monday, some states running their own insurance exchanges saw huge levels of website traffic but paltry interest in signing up.
California, the ultimate blue state whose federal lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in support of Obamacare, turned less than 1 per cent of its Web visits into 'Covered California' participants on Tuesday.
Caldwell couldn't say how many of the 5.7 million website hits were from unique Californians. But assuming 712,500 online visitors saw eight different Web pages each, the sign-up rate was 0.58 per cent.
Connecticut saw a similarly low rate of interest. Democratic Congressman Jim Himes tweeted after 8:30 p.m. Monday that his state's health exchange had 'received 28k visitors, and took 167 applications for health insurance. Day 1.'
That indicates just 0.59 per cent of Connecticut residents who sought information about their state's Obamacare program on Monday decided to become part of it,
New York Department of Health executive director Donna Frescato said in a statement that 'more than 12,000 business owners and individuals from across the state have shopped online for low-cost health insurance plans ... and the site has received nearly 30 million web visits.'
A spokesman didn't respond to a request for clarification about whether those 12,000 people completed applications for health coverage. If they did, and if each 'web visit' corresponded to a New Yorker who saw 8 pages, the state's enrollment rate would be the lowest of all – 0.32 per cent.
The low numbers of new enrollees stand in stark contrast to the robust website traffic statistics, suggesting that day-one anxieties about non-functioning online portals may have been overblown.
'Americans across the country – millions of Americans – are taking advantage of the opportunity to shop for affordable health insurance that they could not attain before now,' White House Press Secretary Jay Carney insisted on Monday.
But without enrollment figures, it's impossible to know whether Obamacare is seeing a flood of new customers or just a trickle.
The White House did not respond to a request for those numbers.
Media representatives for health insurance exchanges in Maryland, Oregon, Colorado, Idaho and Hawaii did not respond to requests for enrollment statistics.
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