Carney: Yes, somebody could provide a "rough estimate" of ObamaCare enrollees, but not for the public

Via the questioning of Chuck Todd during Friday’s White House press briefing:

We’re compiling data. You can’t — you need to verify it and make it accurate. Obviously the challenges in doing that have been exacerbated by the difficulties with the website. … I suppose that somebody could provide a rough estimate, but the point is you want to get accurate information when you release it publicly. If the purpose of this line of questioning, which I know is of fierce interest to those who never wanted affordable health insurance available to the American people to begin with, is to demonstrate that those numbers are low, we concede that they will be.

Well, duh. Of course “somebody” can cobble together a “rough estimate,” but the administration will be revealing what those numbers might actually look like when they’re good and ready, thank you very much (although I might point out that today marks exactly a month since ObamaCare has been — er — technically open for business). ObamaCare can hardly afford any more poor PR at the moment, and as Carney so aptly concedes, those enrollment numbers probably aren’t anything to brag about just yet. Like in, say, Arkansas, for instance:

LITTLE ROCK — Insurance company executives told a state legislative panel Wednesday they have enrolled fewer than 170 Arkansans in health insurance plans through the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace.

Cal Kellogg, executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Michael Stock, president and CEO of QualChoice of Arkansas, and John Ryan, CEO of Arkansas Health & Wellness Solutions, were asked about enrollment numbers while testifying before the legislative oversight committee on the marketplace.

Four insurance carriers sell plans through the marketplace, which launched Oct. 1. The fourth is the national Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Kellogg said he has seen fewer than 100 enroll, Stock said he has seen about 50 and Ryan said he has seen fewer than 20.