WASHINGTON – Results of an internal audit of the online signups for Healthcare.gov released today reveal that more than 80% of registrations for the Affordable Health Care Act (also known as Obamacare) came from computer robots.
The Obama administration announced last month that more than 2.1 million Americans signed up for health insurance in the last three months of 2013 through Healthcare.gov. The number of signups for insurance appeared to be a dramatic improvement from the early weeks of the program, when barely 150,000 got coverage because of technical problems with the federal website.
“We thought the registrations began to really gain momentum at the end of the year. Our projections showed over 6 million people receiving health coverage by March,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tells us. “It is a real disappointment. The real number seems to be around 390,000.”
Officials announced that the source of the problem is related to poor spam filters on the signup page. Internet security experts tell us that most modern websites implement a variety of filters to prevent robot signups. Healthcare.gov failed to implement any common safeguards against such signups.
“We became initially concerned about the problem after receiving a high number of signups with popular celebrity names,” Sebelius continued. “There were over 23,000 Oprah Winfreys, 80,000 Jennifer Anistons, and even 45,000 Barak Obamas for example. It seemed a little suspicious at first. At least now we can say that there are millions of previously uninsured spam bots who now have access to affordable health insurance.”
Sebelius tells us that the actual number of signups from the 25-40 age group, a critical segment for the program, appear to be much higher than originally thought. The majority of the fake signups were listed in the 40-65 age bracket.
The administration says there are a few positive notes from the spam registrations. Health and Human Services tells us they have identified a number of low cost suppliers for high demand erectile disfunction drugs.