Healthcare.gov, the struggling federal healthcare startup, finally cleared 1 million users in the month of December, federal officials announced Sunday morning, acknowledging a milestone that falls short of original goals.
Over the last three months, from October 1 to December 24, more than 1.1 million people enrolled in a new qualified healthcare plan using Healthcare.gov, Marilyn Tavenner, the head of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, announced Sunday. The numbers break down probably won't surprise you if you have followed these stories closely: more than 975,000 enrolled in December alone. Part of that surge in sign-ups — only 27,000 enrolled in October, or 137,000 in November — can be attributed to the now (mostly) functional website, and the panic to sign up before the first coverage deadline.
The administration originally planned to have 7 million people registered for federal healthcare by the end of March. That goal seems lofty now, as they may not even clear half of that at the rate registrations are going.
Of course, there's always a catch. The numbers announced Sunday don't include those signed up through the 14 state-run exchanges, so we don't know if Oregon still sucks. (We're pulling for you, Oregon!) But now the administration has to process a flood of new applications before January 1, when the first registration deadline kicks in and the actual coverage begins. All things considered, the odds of this going smoothly are slim.