The Obama administration revealed Wednesday that only 26,794 enrolled for health insurance during the first month since the unveiling of HealthCare.gov, the flawed website that has been at the center of controversy.
Plus enrollment of more than 79,000 in the 14 states with their own websites, the nationwide number of 106,000 October sign-ups was barely one-fifth of what officials had projected, the Associated Press reports.
Last week, the president apologized to Americans who had received cancelation notices from their current health insurance carriers, after he promised the public that this wouldn't happen. Former President Bill Clinton said in an interview with OYZ Media that he believed the president should honor that promise even if it meant having to change the current legislation.
Some Republicans, many who were not in favor of the bill from the beginning, said that even Wednesday's feeble sign-up figures appear inflated. The final number—106,185 people—would be even smaller, they argue, if it counted only those who finalized their enrollment by actually paying their first month's premium, AP reports.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who is in charge of implementing the universal health care package to the public, said: "We expect enrollment will grow substantially throughout the next five months."
"Even with the issues we've had, the marketplace is working and people are enrolling," Sebelius said. Responding to GOP critics, she said the first premiums are not due until Dec. 15, AP reports.
Read more at the Associated Press.