Buried in a press release from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is admission that so far only 36,000 people have signed up for ObamaCare during the grace period for enrollment for peope who are being fined for not having health coverage last year.

This number is paltry compared to the 11.7 million the Administration touts for signups during the official open enrollment period of November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. As we know, even this number is inflated: we don’t know how many of these signups have paid their first month’s premiums -the definition of enrollment.

As we’ve reported, there is a serious huge lack of knowledge about the penalties attached to ObamaCare for people who don’t obtain coverage. These penalties kick in this year. Some Americans found out that this is the year of the penalties belatedly. In 2014 the penalty will be $95 or 1 percent of their income (whichever is greater). That’s jumps to $395 or 2 percent of income next year.

This is the first year those penalties are being assessed when Americans go to file their taxes and see their returns eaten up by the shared pain — err "responsibility" payment. Therefore, the President unilaterally created a Special enrollment period allowing Americans extra time to sign up  to avoid next year’s even stiffer penalty. A tidal wave of more than 200,000 new signups was predicted. But as the CMS press release indicates (to readers willing to go over it with a fine toothed comb), this hasn’t happened.

HealthCare.gov's special enrollment period began March 15 and runs through April 30 (two weeks after Tax Day) and is available to people who only learned this tax season that they will be subject to next year’s penalty. Eleven other states and the District of Columbia are also allowing a special enrollment period. Three states—Colorado, Idaho and Massachusetts—are not offering grace periods.

CNBC reports:

Mark Steber, chief tax officer of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, on Tuesday told CNBC that there continues to be "a great deal of misinformation" about Obamacare.

Specifically, Steber said, people are surprised to hear they are subject to a penalty that is more than $95, and many people don't know that a grace period for tax season is being offered.

"Which is kind of surprising," Steber said. "A lot of folks don't really know about this."

As a result, "we have not seen a big spike in enrollment" among clients who have gone to Jackson Hewitt for tax preparation during the grace period.

Kevin Counihan, the CEO of HealthCare.gov, said, "Our focus is squarely on increasing public awareness about this tax season."

"We're making sure marketplace consumers have the information they need to file their tax returns and that those who went without health coverage last year are aware of the requirement to have coverage or qualify for an exemption," Counihan said.

"Those who don't qualify for an exemption and remain uninsured [and] did not understand the implications of the requirement to have insurance will need to pay a fee, but also will have a final opportunity to enroll in affordable health coverage for the remainder of the year."

Is anyone other than the Administration surprised? They chalk up lack of interest in ObamaCare to ignorance about the program. Perhaps it's that Americans realize that the offerings aren’t that attractive or that, if they don’t qualify for subsidies, ObamaCare is still too expensive.

If uninsured Americans are not buying into Obamacare what are they doing? Most likely securing private coverage outside of the system or opting to pay the penalty. We probably won't know until this tax season is over.

The administration wants more money to spread the word about the benefits of ObamaCare. The taxpayer has already footed the bill for massive ad campaigns, many them mercilessly and deservedly mocked. Maybe the Administration should consider this: the problem is the product.