They've spent more than three years preparing for the big day, forking over millions of taxpayer dollars on advertisements to promote the law's October 1 roll-out. They've boasted about, and grossly exaggerated, the web traffic its exchanges generated on opening day. And despite the comprehensive trainwreck that's unfolded this week, their top Congressional allies are cheerfully referring to implementation as a "dream come true." Nevertheless, Obamacare's administrators now say they can't -- or, more accurately won't -- tell the country how many Americans have managed to actually enroll in the program for at least a month. We know that individual state figures have ranged from bad (Kentucky, where 5.3 percent of visitors enrolled), to negligible (Connecticut, 0.58 percent) to, um, zero:
Louisiana’s top health-insurance provider said that not a single person enrolled in a new health-care plan offered through the Affordable Care Act on its first day.
Tennessee looks like another total dud. But hHow are the federal exchanges, which service healthcare consumers in 36 states, faring overall? This report posted yesterday morning at the Washington Post's liberal Wonkblog is jaw-dropping:
The federal government has said that somewhere out in this vast country of 313 million people, where 48 million lack insurance coverage, someone has managed to sign up for health insurance on the federally-run marketplaces. As of yet, we haven’t tracked this person – or these people – down… There are certainly lots of people trying to buy health insurance on the marketplace, that much is clear from my inbox. “I am trying to sign my wife up for an individual policy on Healthcare.gov and it’s still basically impossible,” one reader in Florida wrote to me Thursday morning…But the federal marketplace is a bit of a black box right now. There’s been heavy traffic, with over 4.7 million visitors since the exchanges opened for enrollment on Tuesday. The White House says some applicants have signed up, but didn’t say how many. Rumors in the insurance industry hover in the single digits; several health plans say they are unaware of anyone signing up for their plan. BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina says it has enrolled one person.
The "single digits." Nationally. Two full days into Obama's grand experiment. Allahpundit alerts concerned citizens that WaPo finally found one guy who'd navigated Obamacare's choppy waters, signing up for coverage that turned out to be a bit too expensive for his liking. Congrats, Chad. Also via AP, one family in Washington saw their current coverage dropped and are now being slapped with Obamacare sticker shock in the state exchange:
Some shoppers on the Washington Health Benefit Exchange say they're finding the Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable. Eric Levy is a self-employed financial accountant in Seattle who pays a monthly premium of $541 for health insurance for his wife and two kids. Last month he received this letter from Regence informing him that under the ACA, his plan will no longer be available January 1, 2014....So he jumped online to the Washington Health Benefit Exchange and the sticker shock for a comparable plan was double the price he pays now. “It's another $500 a month that you have to think about how you're going to pay for,” said Levy.
And now, two clips. The first, an absolutely merciless RNC video juxtaposing Obama's sanitized, sun-bathed white-wash with the maddening, unglamorous reality, followed by a news report detailing the significant premium hikes many Americans are starting to endure:
You may have missed Fox's passing reference to Nancy Jean Beigel, who was one of Obama's human props during his Tuesday photo-op. Buried at the very end of this Washington Post report, we discover that she's already feeling disenchanted:
Beltsville resident Nancy Jean Beigel, 55, was among about a dozen people selected to stand with President Obama during a brief appearance Tuesday at the White House to tout the law. But after two unsuccessful attempts at signing up for coverage, once Tuesday and once Wednesday, she gave up for the moment. “It’s a little confusing,” said Beigel, who earns $8,000 a year running a small cleaning service and likely will qualify for free care under expanded Medicaid. “It’s not so great.”
I think we may have found a new Obamacare slogan, coined by a supporter. Perfect.
UPDATE - Over to you, Democrat-dominated California:
In fairness, they only had three-and-a-half years to train these people properly. I'm sure they'll run your healthcare in a prompt, professional and competent manner.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography