It's been a big week for the Washington state exchange.
It got off to an awful start on Oct. 1, when the site crashed over and over, and communication from the Exchange Board was frankly dreadful. Updates on their Facebook were allowed to get 15 hours old, and their Twitter account was mostly silent as tens of thousands of frustrated people tried to get on the site and local Tea Partiers crowed. There wasn't even a banner on the site to explain why it was not any different than it had been in the days before it opened.
I digress. It opened.
The first week I actually thought enrollment was sort of slow. But once the system got functional, enrollment went from a reasonable flow to a flood.
Enrollment tripled last week.
As of today, 25,000 people have enrolled in insurance through the Exchange. And another 37,000 have applied, with payment due in December.
That's 62,000 people.
It's a far cry from insuring everyone. We've got about 1 million uninsured people in the state. The figures released by Washington HealthPlanFinder today don't show how many people will be covered if all those applications turn into policies, although they did say that there are a fair amount of children getting new coverage.
But about 355,000 people are now eligible for expanded Medicaid, and another 466,000 are thought to be eligible for subsidies.
About 271,000 individuals have already got on the website, and the site has been visited almost 1.5 million times.
So we are off to a good start less than three weeks in!
And I think a Republican fear is becoming a reality up here; if Obamacare was defunded now, there would be a lot of anger and dashed hopes.