On September 30, the day before the launch of Obamacare's health insurance exchanges, NBC News asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius what success would look like for the law and its system of government-run insurance portals. "Well, I think success looks like at least seven million people having signed up by the end of March 2014," she said in response.
In the months before the exchanges went (sort of) live, this was a standard answer from the administration. It was based on the Congressional Budget Office's projection of how many people would sign up for private coverage through the law in 2014, and the administration repeatedly pointed to the figure as an achievable enrollment target for the first year.
But with the release of another round of official Obamacare sign-up data yesterday, it looks rather unlikely that the administration's stated goal will be met. In response, the administration has revised its definition of success in hopes of papering over the law's ongoing failures.