7 Is Obamacare's New Number
reported that only 7 percent of Americans think the rollout of the exchanges has gone well. That number isn’t surprising given the enormous technical failures of the federal exchanges, but it does show that the shutdown and debt ceiling shenanigans on the Hill haven’t distracted people as much as we thought it might from the ACA’s bellyflop of an implementation.But there’s another 7 number floating out there as well. According to the same Reuters story, 7 percent of Americans say someone in their household has tried to sign up for insurance on the exchanges in the last two weeks. That could mean as many as 20 million people. Given the high failure rate forced by technical glitches, only 1 of every 10 people who tried to buy insurance actually succeeded in doing so. That could mean that around 2 million people may have signed up for insurance so far.If enrollment really is close to 2 million already (and there is some anecdotal evidence that suggests that this number is too high), that’s a pretty good number for the administration, whose stated aim was to have 7 million new insured by the end of March. The individual mandate doesn’t take take effect until Jan. 1, so 20 million trying to get insurance and 2 million succeeding even before that date is a good sign.Of course, the administration has missed a huge opportunity to crush its 7 million number right off the bat by unveiling a poorly designed system. But for the time being at least, it seems like the rollout may have been a PR disaster, but not fatal to the enrollment targets Obama has set for the law.