Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, appears to have given an odd scoop to the Washington Examiner, a conservative news outlet.
The horrendous rollout of Obamacare last Oct. 1 was even worse than the administration has revealed, with just one person able to enroll on healthcare.gov, according to new documents uncovered by a public watchdog group.A 106-page document obtained May 1 by Judicial Watch from the Department of Health and Human Services also showed that a top official was so happy that she thought a second person had succeeded in signing up on day one that she sent out a celebratory email.
According to the materials from Judicial Watch, on Oct. 1, the first day of the open-enrollment period, one consumer enrolled and 43,208 created accounts.
At least one member of Congress, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), touted the story on Twitter this morning, mocking the ACA once more: “Just one #Obamacare enrollment on first day.”
And if today were, say, Oct. 20 instead of May 20, Judicial Watch’s findings may be worthy of more attention.
But given what happened after the website got fixed, this all seems kind of bizarre.
Not to put too fine a point on this, but why would anyone care how many enrollments there were on Oct. 1? Over 8 million American consumers ended up enrolling, exceeding projections, which is the number that actually counts.
It’s as if a football team made a big mistake its first play, but came back to win the Super Bowl. That first play may have been embarrassing, but since the team won, does it really matter?
Clinging to some hope that the federal health care system can still be mocked, even now, is unseemly. We know healthcare.gov got off to a horrible start, but we also know it got fixed and worked just fine when consumers signed up in droves.
The history of the enrollment process did not end on Oct. 1. Whether or not the right finds this disappointing is irrelevant.