Delaware’s top health official comments on Obamacare enrollment

 (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The first round of Obamacare enrollment numbers are out, and they’re not good.

Federal health officials announced today 106,185 people have selected plans from state and federal health insurance marketplaces.

“There is no doubt the level of interest is strong,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. “We expect enrollment will grow substantially throughout the next five months… They’re also numbers that will grow as the website,, continues to make steady improvements.”

The administration says fewer than 27,000 people managed to enroll for health insurance last month in the 36 states relying on the problem-filled federal website for the health care overhaul.

“We are pleased that HHS has released enrollment information to the public,” said Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf. “As technical improvements are made to and as enrollment deadlines near, we expect the number of Delawareans who sign up for coverage to grow further.”

According to HHS, so far 97 Delawareans have signed up for coverage under Obamacare.

DHSS Secretary Landgraf is scheduled to give an update on the First State’s health insurance marketplace Thursday; she is also expected to answer additional questions about today’s news from Secretary Sebelius.

“These numbers – and additional ones that I will release Thursday at the Health Care Commission meeting – show the high level of interest in obtaining health insurance,” Landgraf said.

The dismal numbers released Wednesday by federal health officials were even lower than estimates recently circulated. The numbers after the first month of the heath care rollout amounts to one-fifth of what the Obama administration had expected during the first reporting period between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2. 

The one bright spot is states running their own websites fared better than the feds, reporting more than 79,000 sign-ups.

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