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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Enrollment numbers still circling the bowl: 7, 6, 5 ....

Sacramento Bee:

After the Congressional Budget Office predicted 7 million[1] Americans would sign up for coverage, they downsized their estimate to 6 million when technical problems with the HealthCare.gov website slowed enrollment in October and November. And even though the website has been functioning well since December, those early problems have cast a large shadow over enrollments ever since.

More than 4.2 million Americans have already purchased marketplace coverage. But using the enrollment experience of the Medicare prescription drug program as a template, Avalere projects that 22 percent, or 1.2 million people will purchase marketplace coverage by March 31. That would bring total enrollment 5.4 million people.

And remember: Enrollments doesn't mean new enrollments; the administration decided not to collect that data. Anyhow, when you combine a product launch debacle with a crappy product, numbers like these are what you get. But it gets worse:

“The Administration is conducting aggressive outreach in March in an effort to boost enrollment. However, success of exchanges in 2014 will depend less on the size of the market and more on the risk profile of enrollees,” said Caroline Pearson, vice president at Avalere Health.

If a sizable share of the new enrollees are younger and presumably healthy, it would help keep premium costs lower in 2015.

See what they did there? They're using private profit as the metric for a public purpose. Because if "a sizable share of the new enrollees" were sick, they'd be getting treatment, right? Maybe even their lives would be saved, right? Remind me why that's not the priority for a public, and publicly funded, program?

NOTE [1] This was always the administration's benchmark for signups in the first year; I always figured they had to be lowballing, because that number was so pathetically low. Why am I never cynical enough?

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