Half of the people who have signed up for Obamacare in 17 states have not activated their health insurance plans by making their first premium payment, a trend that threatens to further embarrass and frustrate President Barack Obama and the highly unpopular Obamacare program.

Health insurance plans purchased through Obamacare only kick in once a customer pays their first month’s premium. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that “only about half of enrollees billed for plans offered by more than 100 insurers in 17 states had paid their first month’s premium,” according to Benaissance chief strategy officer Mark Waterstraat, whose firm serves as a third-party billing company for insurers. Another insurer, Scott & White Health Plan, told the Journal that only 35% of its enrollees have paid for the plans they applied for.

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