Washington— The Obama administration’s internal projections called for strong enrollment in the states in the first year of new health insurance markets, according to unpublished estimates obtained by the Associated Press. Whether those expectations will bear out is unclear.
Technology glitches have frustrated consumers trying to sign up online, and efforts to upgrade and repair healthcare.gov are ongoing.
But the estimates, obtained through a public records request, may be the closest thing to a yardstick for measuring the performance of President Barack Obama’s health care law.
The enrollment breakdown by states was included in a draft of an administration report on insurance premiums in the new markets, but it was omitted from a subsequent version released to the public last month.
Leading up to the opening of insurance markets Oct. 1, the White House generally deflected questions about its own expectations of how consumers would respond. Officials instead cited a congressional estimate that 7 million people would gain coverage in the first year through the markets.
The draft, dated Sept. 20, broke down the figure of 7 million among states.
While consumer interest in the new health insurance markets has been undeniably strong, it’s hard to get a sense of how many people have been able to navigate balky federal and state websites and successfully enroll. Numbers released by states running their own marketplaces suggest upward of 100,000 people have enrolled so far.
The administration refuses to release numbers for the 36 states in which it is taking the lead.