10 other numbers to put the Obamacare October sign-ups into perspective

More people saw this than selected a plan. ( Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press).

More people saw this than selected a plan. ( Chris Pizzello/Invision/Associated Press).

Yes, the numbers seem pretty dismal on the surface. And when you put them in perspective, they also seem dismal, like a Pollock — someone who is unattractive from far away and you think maybe when you get closer they’ll be more attractive, and then, no, it’s just as bad. The numbers are even more dismal when you note the fact that the 106,856 are just people who selected plans, not people who went through with buying plans. By this logic, I am a Purchaser Of Every Single ModCloth Item Suggested To Me In The Past 5 Years. A mere 27,000 signed up through the federal marketplace, which is higher than the 42 that all the Expectation Management experts had been strongly implying had made it, but still not the highest number on earth.

Many on Twitter had a field day with these numbers, using Michelle Malkin’s suggested formula — “Twitter MadLibs: More [_____] have [____]] than enrolled in Obamacare.”

Yup, the number of people who selected a policy is smaller than the:
• Number of people who follow Nickelback on Twitter (594,876)
• Number of minutes that signed up to be in a year (525,600), according to the song “Seasons of Love.”
• Number who bought tickets to “The Avengers” during its opening weekend.
• Number who signed the Build-A-Death-Star petition.*
• Number who attended the gathering of the Juggalos — 107,500+, according to Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Tex)
• Number who contracted chlamydia in a month, also noted by Rep. Stockman, who was on something of a roll. (“About 110,000 people contract chlamydia each month, more than signed up for Obamacare. Obamacare is less popular than chlamydia.”) Yeegh. Okay. I hope these people have some sort of coverage!
• Number who signed a petition to deport Piers Morgan, as Piers Morgan kept reminding us, oddly.

Okay, fine, you’ve driven it home. One hundred thousand is a TINY, TINY number. Remind me of this the next time you need 60 votes for something in the Senate. Yet, it’s already greater than the number of people aged 25 to 64 without insurance coverage who died in 2005 (approximately 45,000), according to a Harvard study.

The number of people who selected a policy is also smaller than:
• The number of people denied coverage for preexisting conditions in 2007, 2008 and 2009 (172,400, 221,400 and 257,100, respectively)
• The number of people currently uninsured in Texas alone, and
• The number of people who, inexplicably, think this roll-out is going well. (Still 12% of Americans!)

*Maybe a good out for everyone would be to build a Death Star! It would definitely move the conversation.

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