In what is being called “the most detailed measure yet,” unnamed Obama administration sources today said that about 476,000 Obamacare applications have been filed. It’s unclear how many people have actually enrolled successfully in the health insurance marketplace, and it doesn’t seem likely that that number will be released today.

Nearly 500,000 people sounds like a big number compared to the scattered anecdotes of individuals finally getting health coverage, but it’s far short of the administration’s six-month signup goal of 7 million enrollees. Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere does some quick calculating.

So, what’s the actual number? The White House tweeted yesterday that California alone had seen 100,000 applications started. If only 476,000 nationwide have made it through the pipeline, that’s quite a glitch.

But wasn’t that 500,000 enrollees?

AP’s Julie Pace writes, “officials continue to refuse to say how many people have actually enrolled in the insurance markets. Without enrollment figures, it’s unclear whether the program is on track to reach the 7 million people projecting by the Congressional Budget Office to gain coverage during the six-month sign-up period.”

President Obama is scheduled to hold a health care event on Monday, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing next week called “HHS PPACA Implementation: Unprepared or Incompetent?” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is not expected to attend.


Despite the anonymous nature of the source of the number, White House senior communications adviser Tara McGuinness is spreading the word through her Twitter account. Is she the unnamed source, or is this how the White House gets its numbers?