The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says more than 100,000 Americans have chosen new health care plans through the so-called Obamacare program that opened for business October 1.
Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that as of early this month, 106,185 people had either purchased new health care plans or chosen new plans without yet paying for them. This is barely one-fifth of the nearly 500,000 people administration officials had projected would sign up in the first month of President Barack Obama's signature health care program.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney acknowledged Wednesday that the numbers fell well below expectations. Administration officials are hoping that several million people will sign up for plans before the March 31 registration deadline.
Sebelius said the government's Healthcare.gov site and state-run sites supporting the government plans have seen about 27 million unique visitors. She added that the administration reasonably expects those numbers to grow over the next three months.
Problems with the health care rollout have plagued President Obama in recent weeks. Sebelius promised that things will get better soon.
He has said the government website is too slow and is failing to serve many people seeking to buy insurance online. He has said he is not happy about the situation, calling the technical glitches "a debacle."