Obama admin. posts low health care signups - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Obama administration posts low health care signups

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

There's more bad news for the Obama administration regarding the rollout of its healthcare program.

The first enrollment numbers are out, and they're not encouraging.

When the University of Michigan's "Big House" is filled on a college football Saturday, it holds about 110,000 fans. That's about the same number nationwide that managed to sign up in October for a health insurance plan.

It's far fewer than the half million enrollments that administration officials had hoped for in the first month of the program.

Here's how the numbers break down.

Only 27,000 individuals obtained private health insurance in the 36 states, including Illinois, that use the federal website.

79,000 signed up in states that run their own enrollment plans. That's a total of 106,000 nationwide.

Illinois applicants use the federal website. The goal for Illinois last month was 17,000 signups, but only 1,370 residents here have found plans they plan to purchase.

On Capitol Hill Wednesday, Todd Park, appointed by the president to fix the website's problems, testified that progress is being made.

"More and more individuals are successfully creating accounts, logging in, and moving on to apply for coverage and shop for plans. We have much work still to do," Park said.

But with increasing numbers of insured individuals having their plans cancelled, and new questions about whether private information is secure on the federal website, there is increasing criticism of the healthcare plan and its ability to deliver.

"This was a monumental mistake," California Rep. Darryl Issa said. "To go live and effectively explode on the launch pad."

So what's ahead? On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is gathering Democrats together for a meeting with health care officials from the White House to get an update on the website's future.

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