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California Now Admits Major Obamacare Flub: We Claimed We Got 10 Times More Obamacare Site Visits Than We Actually Did

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"That was incorrect"

Peter V. Lee, execiutive director of the California state online health plan known as Covered California, speaks during a celebration to inaugurate the first day people can enroll Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. Californians who buy their own health insurance and those who have been hoping for coverage began using the state's online marketplace Tuesday after it opened for business on the first day of enrollment. Credit: AP

California officials with the state's Obamacare exchanged had claimed it received 5 million online visitors to its website on the first day of signups Tuesday.

Turns out that number was a bit of an overstatement — by about 10 times.

"Someone misspoke and thought it was indeed 5 million hits. That was incorrect," said Dana Howard, a spokesman for Covered California.

Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California, speaks during a celebration to inaugurate the first day of enrollment Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. (Credit: AP)

The number of unique online visitors was actually 514,000, the number of hits was 645,000, and the state received 19,000 calls; Howard said the error was the result of internal miscommunication, according to the Los Angeles Times.

California Obamacare cited the 5 million figure as a sign of strong consumer interest, the Times notes, and a primary reason there was so much difficulty using its $313-million online enrollment system.

There were issues with the signup system on the second day of enrollment as well, the Times adds, noting the site has been shut down twice, as well as its enrollment for two hours Wednesday morning because health plan information wasn't loading properly, the state reveals.

Consumers complained of system crashes and call wait times of half an hour or more, the Times says, and additional callers emerged as a result of online signup problems.

(H/T: Weasel Zippers)

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