Two big problems hit the Obama White House on Oct. 1: the government shutdown, which saw hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed, national parks closed, and other disruptions. And the launch of the Affordable Care Act, which was always going to be tricky.
The first problem was solved – temporarily, at least – when Republicans and Democrats worked out a stop-gap spending deal, also heading off (for now) a government default on its debts. By most accounts, the White House came out the winner, although President Obama was careful not to beat his chest too much about it.
The second problem – the president’s signature achievement so far, known as “Obamacare” – has only gotten worse.
The White House reported this weekend that about 19 million people have visited HealthCare.gov and 476,000 individuals have applied online for health insurance.
But officials have yet to say how many people have actually bought a policy. In any case, it's a long way from the 7 million people the administration wants to see enrolled for health insurance through online exchanges during the six-month sign-up period.