The federal government is set to release new figures on the progress of the Affordable Care Act exchanges and they are, as you might expect, pretty dismal. According to reports from those who have seen the numbers, only about 40,000 Americans in 36 states have been able to sign up through the federal exchange website more than six weeks after they opened for business. That's far below one estimate from the administration that predicted 500,000 enrollees in the first month.

Even lamer: According to The Washington Post, that figure includes people who haven't even fully committed to their insurance, but have simply picked out a plan and put it in their online cart. Insurance companies only count people as enrolled when they pay their first premium, so the discrepancy will surely be a point contention when discussing the numbers. 

The one good bit of news the Obama Administration is that is that about 440,000 people have signed up for Medicaid since enrollment began on October 1. Expanding Medicaid was the other key plank of the ACA so that's a small win for the team still point fingers over what went wrong with Healthcare.gov. The official enrollment figures are due to published later this week.