November 1st, 2013
12:50 AM ET
9 months ago

Internal notes show paltry initial enrollment in Obamacare

Washington (CNN) - Six people.

That's how many Americans had successfully enrolled in the federal health care exchange by the morning of October 2, according to documents provided to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.


Notes from a "war room" meeting at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance between administration officials and contractors working on the rollout of HealthCare.gov underscore the beleaguered debut of the online marketplace.

Posted online Thursday by the House committee, the documents indicate that the six enrolled individuals were issued policies from five different insurance companies.

"Healthcare Service Corporation had the two enrollments," the notes recorded.

By the next meeting, held that afternoon, notes showed "approximately 100 enrollments" had taken place since the launch of the federal exchange.

The following morning, the total had increased to 248.

Notes released by the committee's chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, do not include official enrollment statistics and represent an incomplete accounting of the enrollment totals, said Joanne Peters, a Health and Human Services spokeswoman.

Again, the department declined to release the number of Americans who have been able to successfully enroll in the exchange.

"We will release enrollment statistics on a monthly basis after coordinating information from different sources such as paper, online, and call centers, verifying with insurers and collecting data from states," Peters said.

Peters reiterated that a slow start does not mean that the exchange will not boast a healthy roll call by the deadline to enroll.

"We have always anticipated that the pace of enrollment will increase throughout the enrollment period," Peters said.

Citing the quiet pace at which Massachusetts residents registered for that state's health program, the spokeswoman remained confident that enrollment totals would tick up as more people learned about the exchange.

HHS remains focused on providing accurate enrollment totals and cannot yet give those figures because of collection issues.

"We have had more than 20 million visitors to the Marketplace, showing an overwhelming interest in Americans learning more about their options for affordable health care," Peters said.

The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance is part of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


Filed under: Health care • Healthcare • Obamacare
soundoff (701 Responses)
  1. Earle

    Wow, they only need 40,000 a day to meet the goal of 7 million by the deadline in March 2014... Looks like Obamie care is in deep deep do do... The Dems don't want to put their money where their mouths are. Guess all those college educated know it alls didn't like what they saw and are not enrolling... Millions now dropped, thousands enrolled this Democrat only law is going to hurt them big time and rightly so. Was it really worth passing it to find out whats in it? Morons...

    November 1, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. Maria Delaluz

    My husband and I know an elderly couple from church. His wife is an amputee and the gentleman is battling prostate cancer. Because of Obamacare kicking in pretty soon, he is not sure if he'll be able to keep his oncologist whom he likes and has been dealing with her since his treatments started earlier this year. I'm hearing lots of scary stories due to Obamacare. I have to pay a $5000 deductible at work for my insurance. My oldest sister who is on a fixed income, if covered by Obamacare has to pay $6500!! My Mary Kay rep has a friend that was fired from her job. When she knew they were hiring for her position she re-appled and got the job. But! When re-hired it was for a 30 hour work week only! This was done so that no insurance would have to be provided! Lord have mercy on this sinful nation. Your will be done!

    November 1, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. pcate45

    Again, the department declined to release the number of Americans who have been able to successfully enroll in the exchange.

    How hard is it to count to 6, or even 248. 6??? at a cost of $600 million. hahahah what a great ROI. lmao

    November 1, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. Maybe Ted Cruz Was Right?

    And 3 of the 6 died immediately after from Price Sticker Shock!

    November 1, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  5. Anonymous

    The numbers will go up. Have faith.... I mean all those people who are getting cancellation notices will eventually sign up. And that was the plan all along.

    November 1, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Udo – Can't lead? What a crock of crap? The moment your ilk start helping our country, instead of trying to destroy it, you may become credible. You must have noticed that we are no longer losing 8 million jobs a year, bin Laden is dead, we are out of Iraq, the deficit is $1 billion lower than in Bush's last year, the market went from 6700 to over 15,000 . . .You got nothing.

    November 1, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. dhvaughn

    That leaves a lot of Americans that are about to get fined or go to jail. I don't care if the website is fully operational or not, I'm not getting this thing, I'm not paying the fine, and they won't be taking me to jail for it. Why would I pay thrice what I'm paying now for half the coverage? I'm not going to do it. It's ridiculous.

    November 1, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. Karin

    On day 1, I successfully enrolled on California's exchange.

    November 1, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Ben

    Have FAITH.. More people will sign up. All those people who got cancellation notices will have shop for insurance. And thus the enrollment numbers will go up. If the IRS is correct, then about 7 million Americans will need to sign up for new insurance. I mean that was the plan all along. Right?

    November 1, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. jorge washinsen

    Surely you must have left 6 of the figures off on that headline.

    November 1, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  11. livinginva

    If I were in the market, I wouldn't sign up the first day – it would be like saying "I need a new car," going to a random dealership and buying one that looks nice. I would get the information and spend a few weeks going over the options to determine which is right for me and my family (which is exactly what I do every open season for health insurance at my work).

    November 1, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. Stan Higgins

    March on Washington March 31, 2014 to end Obamacare!

    Ted Cruz finish what you started in the senate brother! You stood in the senate 21 hours for a reason. This time let millions of us stand with you in Washington! No one is listening. This is the only way. If they want to give us a deadline of March 31 to be enrolled in Obamacare, let's march by the millions to Washington to end it!!

    March on Washington March 31, 2014 to end Obamacare!

    November 1, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  13. Mac

    6? I guess SNL was lucky with their skit.

    Now we know why people are being forced out of their health care plans. Obamacare needs more people.

    November 1, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  14. David

    Bull. ObamaCare isn't just one web site. Washington State has signed up thousands so far (we run our own site), just our one little state. And that doesn't include the hundreds of thousands now covered by Medicaid, or the hundreds of thousands who can join their parents insurance, or the thousands who can GET insurance now who couldn't get it AT ALL before (because of pre-existing conditions), and the fact that they can't get you OFF your insurance BECAUSE you get sick. It's more than just one web server. Get a clue.

    November 1, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. nc1965

    Romneycare: enrollment after one month: 123

    Source: commonwealth health insurance connector authority.

    Obamacare: Enrollment in health insurance plans on the Obamacare website for the first couple of days of operation is 248

    Source: WASHINGTON, Oct 31 (Reuters)

    OBAMA WINS AGAIN.

    November 1, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. John

    California's website has launched without a glitch,......100's of thousands have enrolled, of course California is a state that set up their own site with the Fed's help in order to help their people, and did not try to sabotage the A.C.A. Congrats to all of the states that set up their own web site......they are having few problems.....

    November 1, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. Ze'ev

    lol, it's not that the system is malfunctioning (though I am sure it doesn't help) but that the premiums and deductibles are laughingly beyond the means of those who actually need to sign up! In the end, people will opt to pay the new "health tax" to the IRS, and go with out insurance. Way to go cowards. If you where going to stuff this down everyone's throat, you should have gone for a public option, like every other civilized nation on the planet.

    November 1, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Rich

    I find it hilariously hypocritical that Issa is the first to jump at the chance to lambast the administration with blatantly embarassing details like this yet utilizes loopholes to keep his staff of the exchanges unlike most other representatives. How is it so under reported that a very small minority of members are utilizing ways to keep their staff of the exchanges is beyond me.

    November 1, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. Amanda

    Wow. 6 enrolled the first day and 8 billion spent on a piece of junk website. Who's brain child was this??

    November 1, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  20. HenryMiller

    "We have had more than 20 million visitors to the Marketplace, showing an overwhelming interest in Americans learning more about their options for affordable health care," Peters said.

    And of that 20 million, of even the few that managed to get a price quote, most were likely appalled at the rip-off rates. My prediction: the only people who actually sign up for Obamacare are the ones getting huge subsidies.

    November 1, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. John Lee

    It looks like the administration still does not have official numbers on enrollment because counting is just too hard for them. Strange because they could count the million of page views but are unable to count the whopping 248 people that managed to sign up for healthcare in the first two days. Seriously? Certainly not the buck stop here, but let's disavow all responsibility and be dishonest to the public we work for.

    (The number is as reported by Bloomberg news.)

    November 1, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. fc83

    Lord have mercy on this sinful nation – because of selfish people who prefer to deny basic human healthcare rights to those that are of the lower class! The Bible teaches to help the sick and the poor, but most of our conservative nation would rather take that line out of the Bible. Our healthcare is broken because of the medical and pharmaceutical industry. Simple as that. They charge outrageous amounts for saving peoples lives. Sad Sad Sad World we live in.

    November 1, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. tp1776

    not disputing that the ACA website has big problems, but has anyone checked whether there is a Denial-of-Service thing going on? I certainly wouldn't put it past the extremists to pull that off in their effort to discredit the healthcare law.

    November 1, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. fc83

    That leaves a lot of Americans that are about to get fined or go to jail. I don't care if the website is fully operational or not, I'm not getting this thing, I'm not paying the fine, and they won't be taking me to jail for it. Why would I pay thrice what I'm paying now for half the coverage? I'm not going to do it. It's ridiculous.

    Someone must spend 99% of their time watching FOX news!

    November 1, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. Sniffit

    "Wow, they only need 40,000 a day to meet the goal of 7 million by the deadline in March 2014"

    Blah blah blah MA had 123 enrollments in the first month of launching its health care program and 289 the second month. MA now has a merely 3.9% rate of people being uninsured, the lowest in the nation by a huge margin. So guess what? Yeah, something happened between point A and point B that resulted in almost everyone enrolling. But I would gladly bet on this...wanna put money on your predictions?

    November 1, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
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