New documents reveal that a mere six people managed to sign up for health insurance through the government’s beleaguered e-commerce website, Healthcare.gov on its opening day.
Naturally, the press is milking every last ounce of this click-bait statistic, but in reality, it probably doesn’t matter. Young, uninsured consumers are compulsive procrastinators. When Massachusetts launched its own e-commerce portal for a similar health insurance law back in 2006, a substantial portion of new registrants (12,000) came on just two weeks before the deadline.
Enrollment numbers grow exponentially as last-minute consumers scramble to take advantage of the new product. Now, this isn’t to say that Healthcare.gov’s epic fail isn’t bad. As I’ve written, it’s riddled with propaganda and authoritarianism that have royally screwed over the technology industry.
Continued problems with the website are a serious threat, as it may not be ready by the crucial Thanksgiving holiday when young consumers are expected to sign up.
That said, Obamacare was not rolled out to a vacuum. We have plenty of historical evidence from the experience in Massachusetts to put these numbers in context.