On Obamacare rollout day officials kept claiming that the reason the exchange sites kept crashing is that so many people were rushing to enroll. I thought that claim was a bit specious at the time. I figured the high number of hits on the websites they claimed were due to curiosity more than anything else. I may have been right. While there are still “glitches” they’re working through, it appears that the number of people actually enrolling is a bit less than they expected.
As President Obama’s signature health insurance overhaul effort began to enroll new participants on Monday, some states running their own insurance exchanges saw huge levels of website traffic but paltry interest in signing up.
California, the ultimate blue state whose federal lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in support of Obamacare, turned less than 1 per cent of its Web visits into ‘Covered California’ participants on Tuesday.
‘We had over 5.7 million hits to our website as of 3 p.m. yesterday,’ Covered California spokeswoman Kelsey Caldwell told MailOnline Wednsday.
’7,700 consumers began their application process yesterday. … 4,143 applications are pending,’ she added. ‘We received 23,269 calls yesterday to our service center.’
Caldwell couldn’t say how many of the 5.7 million website hits were from unique Californians. But assuming 712,500 online visitors saw eight different Web pages each, the sign-up rate was 0.58 per cent.
Read the whole thing, there’s data from other states, too. My guess is that most of those enrolling are people who are already sick and need insurance to pay the bills. I doubt the highly coveted young and healthy are in any rush to sign up for this. Hey, they may have voted for it, but that’s different than turning over a bunch of personal information and opening up one’s wallet.
Update: I spoke a little bit too soon. Obamacare did have one young lad sign up. He’s a law student and was paying for his own insurance but thought he’d sign up for O’Care. After getting through a few glitches he was happy to learn that he now qualifies for Medicaid. Success! Another welfare recipient.