Obamacare-enrollment figures: HHS release first official tally of how many people have chosen coverage through healthcare.gov.

The First Official Obamacare Numbers Are In

The First Official Obamacare Numbers Are In

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Nov. 13 2013 3:41 PM

The First Official Obamacare Numbers

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius answers questions about the error-plagued launch of Healthcare.gov while on Capitol Hill

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

As promised, the administration unveiled the first official tally this afternoon of just how many people have chosen coverage through the Obamacare exchanges (both the troubled healthcare.gov and the more successful state-run ones) since they opened for business at the start of October. As expected, the numbers aren't pretty. Politico:

Only 106,185 people have signed up for health insurance plans through the Obamacare exchanges across the country as of Nov. 2, administration officials said in the first official update of enrollment since the law's troubled Oct. 1 launch. One quarter of those people came in through the flawed HealthCare.gov site, which is operating in 36 states. The rest came through the state-run exchanges, most of which are generally operating much more efficiently than the federal site.

The figures, which fall well short of the administration's early goals, include people who have selected a health plan, whether or not they have actually paid for it. The White House has been tamping down expectations for weeks, warning that they have always expected the first month of enrollment to be low, even before the problems with the website became clear.

The open-enrollment period is set to close at the end of March, at which point the administration hopes that at least seven million Americans nationwide will have gained private coverage. Today's numbers actually mark a pretty drastic improvement from the website's first days. Of course, the bar was set about as low as it could be: Only six people signed up for coverage on the first day the site was open. By Day 3 that figure had climbed to 248 people.

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.