Here’s the part that matters:
Citing anonymous administration sources, The Associated Press has narrowed the figure to 476,000 applications divided among state and federal exchanges. But although the number does serve as a gauge of activity during the site’s early days, the White House has declined to release how many of those applications resulted in enrollment in a health insurance plan. Those figures are expected to be released in mid-November.
Let’s be generous and pretend that every single application results in an enrollment in a health insurance plan. According to the story, that’s the number we have “almost three weeks into the plan.” The story was release on the 20th (yesterday) so let’s not include the day the story was published. Let’s say that the number was accomplished in 19 days.
So 476,000 divided by 19 gives us a rate of 25,053 enrollments per day. Let's round up to 26,000.
We are told that 46 million people don’t have health insurance. Let’s pretend that everyone who applies (and we assume, are enrolled in a healthcare plan) are one of those people who don’t have health insurance.
So how long will it take for them all to have insurance?
46,000,000 divided by 26,000 tells us it will take just over 1,769 days. That is almost five years.
Yet the deadline to get the insurance in 2014 is December 15, 2013. The deadline to avoid a fine from the IRS is February 15, 2014.
And the White House can’t promise healthcare.gov will even be fixed by the December 15 deadline. Of course, the closer they get to the deadline, the more the website will be choked by people trying to get insurance in time to meet the deadline. I assume this means more is likely to go wrong under that heavy internet traffic.
But maybe there won’t even be heavy internet traffic. Fox News reported yesterday on the Administration’s own claims about visits to the site:
The 918-word blog acknowledges the glitches have been “frustrating” for Americans and states roughly 500,000 applications for coverage have been submitted. It also states that healthcare.gov has had roughly 19 million unique visits, which “confirms that the American people are looking for quality, affordable health coverage, and want to find it online.”
I don’t understand the reasoning in that statement since many people, like me, have just received notice that their health insurance is being terminated in 2014. I guess, “confirms that the American people are scrambling to find affordable health coverage after we robbed them of the coverage they already had,” doesn’t sound as positive.
But nineteen million unique visits? Let’s assume that every single one of those visits was one of the people who are always talked about—the people who have been uninsured for years—as opposed to people who have just found out they will be uninsured in 2014 because there insurance has been destroyed by Obamacare so that they have to find new insurance. If every single hit came from those uninsured then more than half of them either can’t get online or can’t be bothered to do so.
Typically, when a new product is rolled out, one gets a big response which then tapers off.
Unless the product is a complete failure.