Open enrollment is right around the corner for ObamaCare and the Administration is admitting that not only will it be difficult, it’s going to be abysmal.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell announced yesterday that only 10 million Americans are expected to be covered by ObamaCare plans next year – a meager increase from the 9.1 million Americans expected to have coverage by the end of 2015. That’s less than half of the 29 million that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected for next year.

In an embarrassing admission that they are failing to meet even lowered expectations, the Administration is facing up with some cold realities of ObamaCare. Fewer uninsured Americans have latched on to Obamacare than expected, fewer employers dropped health benefits for their workers, and fewer consumers switched from their own policies.

When we consider that fewer young, healthy Americans were lured onto ObamaCare, despite the outlandish lengths to which this Administration went (including insulting binge-drinking and hook-up-glorifying ads and stalking millennials at clubs and sneaker stores, we have an ObamaCare pool that is older, sicker, and more costly driving premiums higher).

HHS contends that there’s a stubborn 10.5 million uninsured people who are eligible, but reaching then will be tough. As we’ve reported, those are Americans tend to be poor or young and in communities of color, so they plan to concentrate enrollment outreach in several key areas, including parts of Texas, Florida, northern New Jersey and Atlanta.

What happened to the 24 million Americans who were expected to flood Obamacare within the first few years? Your guess is as good as mine as the Washington Post reports:

The anemic projection comes as the sprawling law is entering a new phase. Having survived the disastrous 2013 rollout of, the federal exchange’s online enrollment system, and weathered two Supreme Court challenges, the ACA has moved past critics’ early hopes that the law might quickly collapse.

Proponents note that the statute has been responsible for the biggest gain in insurance coverage in decades. But questions linger over whether it can reach deep into the pockets of the nation’s most intractable uninsured populations and whether people who currently have health plans through the marketplaces will decide that the coverage is worth keeping.

HHS contended on Thursday that exchange enrollment, originally pegged to reach 24 million within several years, is not plateauing but is instead on “a much longer path towards equilibrium,” as a senior official said.

If enrollment were to taper off sooner and lower than expected, it would raise questions about whether a cornerstone of the ACA is working. At the same time, the government would save money on subsidies the law provides to most individuals with coverage through the exchanges.

Burwell tried to spin challenging enrollment numbers as a “good problem to have,” because there are fewer uninsured Americans. You can’t spin that the President’s namesake legacy failed to deliver on its most basic promise and instead touched off myriad unintended consequences from the loss of healthcare coverage to changes in our labor market that has left Americans workers worse off. How many part-time workers would rather clock more than 30 hours, but are limited to 29 hours or less just so that their employer can afford to keep them?

We taxpayers are footing the bill to even make ObamaCare affordable to customers, because without our generous subsidies to more than 80 percent of them probably couldn’t afford coverage.

Let’s also not forget that part of why some Americans purchased ObamaCare is because they found themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place this tax season. Those tax penalties kicked in this year if you had no coverage last year. While a $95-penalty this year was modest, its triples to $395 next year. That puts a big dent in your tax refund – if you get one.

Conservatives have been right to challenge ObamaCare from the start. A disastrous rollout and technical glitches are just the frosting on a deeply flawed and bitter cake.

This Halloween there’s no treat just tricks with ObamaCare. If I were an uninsured American, I wouldn’t answer the door.