The difference between government and private industry

The US insurance industry has indicated 50,000 sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act insurance so far. This is less than 10% of what they were aiming for by this time. That's bad enough, but more instructive is how the US Government will officially count enrollments:

When the Obama administration releases health law enrollment figures later this week, though, it will use a more expansive definition. It will count people who have purchased a plan as well as those who have a plan sitting in their online shopping cart but have not yet paid.
Holy crap. Someone must have signed off on this definition, and I'd love to know how they kept a straight face doing it.

David Burge (aka IowaHawk) nails this:

The inevitable conclusion to be drawn: the HealthCare.gov enrollment figures are so dreadful that it's preferable to focus attention on a ridiculous definition of "enrollment" than on the number of actual paid-up enrollees.

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