Healthcare.gov Enrollment Falls Far Short of Target - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Healthcare.gov Enrollment Falls Far Short of Target

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Between 40,000-50,000 Americans so far have been able to successfully enroll in private insurance through the www.healthcare.gov website according to the Wall Street Journal.

Industry analysts have confirmed those numbers for CBS News in the 36 states where the federal government is running the exchange.

CBS News data from the states operating their own exchanges shows another 50,000 enrollees.

But those figures fall well short of the 500,000 the Obama administration initially hoped to have by this point.

"The fact the website has been so challenging - means enrollment numbers will be lower than expected," says spokesman Jay Carney.

The administration says it is counting on the numbers to climb as the website improves and the sign-up deadline gets closer.

And the White House has pointed out that more than 700,000 people have completed applications on healthcare.gov which is the first step of enrollment.

Gail Wilensky directed Medicare and Medicaid under the first President Bush.

She ways these low numbers were expected - and what's key is that the administration is transparent about them-- so insurers can plan future offerings.

"It's not critical just yet but it's starting to get extremely worrisome if people can't and aren't enrolling."

The White House is not commenting on the Wall Street Journal number and has promised to release its own figures sometime this week.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services began sending emails this week to people who were unable to create an account inviting them to come back and try again.

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