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Initial Healthcare Enrollment Numbers Very Low

WASHINGTON, DC -- The White House is working on a report which will show just how many people signed up for health insurance under the affordable care act in its first month. It will be released this week and CBS News has learned the numbers will be very low.
The enrollment numbers, which will include the first month of enrollment, will likely be very low given the struggles that people have had getting access to the site
WASHINGTON, DC -- The White House is working on a report which will show just how many people signed up for health insurance under the affordable care act in its first month.  It will be released this week and CBS News has learned the numbers will be very low. 

Industry analysts confirm to CBS News the number of people signing up for healthcare falls far short of the government's target.

The Wall Street Journal reports fewer than 50,000 people have made it through healthcare.gov to purchase health insurance.  The White House had hoped for 500,000 in just the first month.

Administration officials won't confirm the enrollment numbers, but over the past few weeks they have been trying to lower expectations because of technical problems with the site.

"The enrollment numbers, which will include the first month of enrollment, will likely be very low given the struggles that people have had getting access to the site and getting information," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a Congressional hearing last week.

State's running their own exchanges are also struggling.  CBS News has learned about 49,000 people signed up for coverage so far on 12 of those sites.

Secretary Sebelius says healthcare.gov is expected to be fully functional by the end of the month, and that should help boost enrollment figures going forward.

The White House wants to enroll 7 million Americans before enrollment closes in March.


(Susan McGinnis, CBS News)

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