PHOENIX — The federal government released data Wednesday showing only
about 750 Arizona residents have enrolled in the online health insurance
marketplace that is a key part of President Barack Obama’s health care law.
Arizona’s light enrollment in the first month of the program is part of a
broader trend around the country after a launch that was marred by website
glitches and delays. The nationwide number of 106,000 October sign-ups was
barely one-fifth of what officials had projected.
Supporters of the law believe the numbers provide only a preliminary snapshot
and that more people will sign up in the coming months. Republicans ripped the
numbers as further proof of the law’s failure.
“President Obama should be concerned when more people are struck by lightning
each year than have enrolled in Obamacare in Arizona,” said Rep. Matt Salmon,
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released state-by-state
numbers of people who enrolled through the new exchanges between Oct. 1 and Nov
The numbers are sure to rise as Arizona residents complete the application
process to enroll in the exchanges. More than 17,000 Arizonans applied for a
health plan through the exchange. They sought coverage for nearly 33,000 people
_ including themselves, spouses and children.
The government also provided an update on another centerpiece of the health
care law _ expanded Medicaid eligibility. Arizona became the site of an intense
legislative battle this year as Gov. Jan Brewer pushed to expand Medicaid
eligibility under the law, drawing the wrath of conservatives in her own party
and prompting a legal challenge.
The federal government announced 11,339 Arizona residents are eligible for
Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.