The White House began grading itself on a curve for Obamacare enrollment Monday, claiming that a goal of 80 percent recruitment among all users of the website would be nearly the best result possible.
With the administration unlikely to meet its Nov. 30 deadline for making the website fully operational, President Obama’s aides offered the new explanation that some consumers never would have signed up online anyway. Therefore, they said, 80 percent enrollment would be a success.
“I think the way to look at that figure is that of, say, 10 who go on the system, roughly two won’t get through the system,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney. He said the 20 percent who can’t enroll includes people who aren’t “comfortable” signing up online or have personal circumstances that are too “complex” to use the website.
“There are reasons that have nothing to do with the functionality of the website,” Mr. Carney said. “Some Americans may go online, start the process and decide, either because of the complexity of their personal or family situation or for other reasons … that they would rather engage a live person, either through a call-in center or in person. That was of course always going to be the case.”
The administration said only about 27,000 people nationwide enrolled on the federal healthcare exchange in its first month of operation, far short of its goal of signing up 3.3 million people by the end of next month.