Obama backs Sebelius despite Obamacare website glitches
The draft obtained by The Associated Press, dated Sept. 20, broke down the figure of 7 million among states. It estimated the expected enrollment in California, for example, at 1. 3 million people in 2014. The estimate for Texas was 629,000 and for Florida, 477,000. The report estimated 340,000 people would enroll in Washington state, and 218,000 in New York.
The final report, released Sept. 25, omitted the enrollment estimates, but it was identical in most other respects.
While consumer interest in the new health insurance markets has been undeniably strong, it’s hard to get a sense of how many people have been able to navigate balky federal and state websites and successfully enroll. Numbers released by states running their own marketplaces suggest upward of 100,000 people have enrolled so far, out of millions of potential interested customers.
The administration refuses to release numbers for the 36 states in which it is taking the lead. Officials at first said the frozen computer screens and other issues were the result of a high volume of interest. They later acknowledged software and design issues were also to blame.
The Affordable Care Act allows states to choose whether to set up their own insurance exchanges or have the federal government do it for them.
Congress and the administration had anticipated most states would want to craft the market to their residents’ needs. But that didn’t happen.
Instead, 34 states opted to let the federal government run all or part of their exchanges, funneling residents of those states to one federal website.
Additionally, Idaho and New Mexico decided to set up their own exchanges, but they are relying on the federal site for the first round of open enrollment.
The site, HealthCare.gov, sent visitors to a “holding page” message due to heavy volume during the first week of implementation.
The portal is supposed to let users without employer coverage apply and shop for coverage — often with the help of income-based subsidies — or direct users to state-run exchanges in 16 states and the District of Columbia.
Meanwhile, state-run exchanges in Kentucky and other places have reported success stories in the early weeks of implementation.
• This article is based in part on wire service reports.
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