November 1st, 2013
12:50 AM ET
1 year 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. Anonymous

    Most of the comments are really amusing, but my favorite's are the ones that read something like this:

    CNN just criticized Obama on something. When did they start working for Fox?

    Did we really get to that point? That if someone says anything bad about a Democrat then suddenly it's conservative slander and should be immediately dismissed on that alone? I think it's one of the most dangerous mindsets a people can have to believe anyone criticizing the party you support must be wrong and biased, based *only* on saying something is wrong with it. How many times has that been used to commit any kind of crime a government has wanted throughout history? I'm not speaking about Obama care or this administration. I'm speaking about a mindset that does not allow for a fair evaluation of what's going on.

    November 1, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Obama mama

    Wow, there are already posters making excuses for a dismal number. Face it, the democrats BLEW IT and everyone is paying for their incompetence.
    ------------------
    They also reported 20 million different visitors during that first week, too.

    November 1, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. DD

    This report is blatantly untrue because I personally know 6 people who successfully signed up the 1st day. I know a lot of people, but the odds that these are my 6 are very long!

    November 1, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. FVS

    One can hope that this Obamacare albatross will get hung around the neck of every politician who supported it or acquiesced in its implementation. It won't take a large percentage of those voters who supported this textbook over reach and power grab who are now looking at cancelations and or sticker shock to express their outrage at the ballot box to change the political landscape. At least in the short term, until the Republicans start porking them just like the Democrats have been.

    November 1, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Metron

    Nobody seems to be talking about how your credit score will help to determine your actual Obamacare rates. Don't the poor likely have the lowest credit ratings? So that would mean the poor will get screwed afterall.

    November 1, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. bubba

    My grandmother has to pay for Maternity insurance. Thanks Obama, everyone knows women are likely to spit out babies at 83

    November 1, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Lucas

    Dismal numbers! They need 36000+ enrollees per day in order to make the March deadline of 7 Million, which is the minimum required to make the system even begin to work.

    This isn't really surprising, though; simple rules of economics(which no one in this administration seems to understand) state that people will not pay for something they don't want. Duh!

    My guess is that this whole program is going to have to be scrapped.

    November 1, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Alex

    So there were numbers available? Marilyn Tavenner lied repeatedly?

    What would happen to most of you if you repeatedly lied to your boss or clients?

    November 1, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. al

    i think there was a ddos attack, that the feds don't want to talk about. there's no other way the number could be that low. even my 286 computer can handle more than that.

    November 1, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. gpvj

    Do you when Romney care started – first month only 123 people signed up, so it will take time to sign up. We need to wait and see.... There is no pinpointing on this. It will be benefiting all the people. wait and see.

    November 1, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. ColdWarVet

    I just learned about how subsidies will work. If your plan is $400 a month and you get a $200 a month subsidy. This is paid out when you file your taxes. But it is first subject to income tax and if you owe any money, that will be deducted from your subsidy. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor....

    November 1, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Ramin

    Contrary to the name "affordable care act, I couldn't afford it. I am a full-time student with $0.00 income and they offered me $173 per month for Bronze plan, $232 per month for Silver plan, and $251 for Gold plan. I don't have that kind of money.

    November 1, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    " foist a get rich quick ponzi scheme on all citizens "

    Haha..did you just call the ACA a "get rich quick Ponzi scheme"? It's like you guys are 2 years old, repeating words you don't even know the meaning of just because you heard someone else say them.

    November 1, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  14. Tammy

    Stick a fork in Obama because the Obama presidency is dead. He can only blame himself in a fit of vanity and lies and with it goes the progressive movement. Not only has America put men on the moon yet with 3 ½ years and a half a billion dollars, we now can't even build a website. This is how much Obama and liberals have degraded the country. We used to be the shining light on the hill. We are now darkness at the end of the tunnel. Obama has been the worst thing that has ever happened to the Oval Office, and in the end, ObamaCare will seal his fate as a failed president.

    November 1, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. Steve

    Susan, I am also self-employed and I received a letter from my insurer telling me that I can stay on my current policy for one more year, then I have to go to an ACA plan that will be an HMO, instead of my PPO, which means I might lose my doctor. The letter goes on to inform me that my premium under the new plan will almost triple, and goes on to detail what percentage of that premium will be for additional benefits (that I didn't want), and what percentage will pay to insure others. I am on this plan, because when I tried to keep my grandfathered plan, my premiums went from about $260/month, when the law was passed, to $430/month, forcing me to drop the plan. How is taking a "chill pill" going to solve any of this?

    November 1, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Name?

    *DISCLAIMER*

    I'm black. Didn't vote at all. Gainfully employed. Not on any type of government assistance (never have been). Lastly, I pay as little attention as possible to politics. Having said those things...

    This has got to be one of the biggest clusters to ever have happened.

    This has affected my employer-based insurance in a way that I could not have imagined. Just yesterday, I had to sign up for the changes that begin on 1/1/2014 and... WOW!

    How did we allow this to happen? I'm sure there are people who legitimately need help attaining medical coverage but this isn't the answer.

    Penalties? Fines? Seriously?

    From now on, I'm going to pay attention to these politicians. We as taxpayers MUST take control of this once-great nation. This is no slam on Obama, because I'm certain this was done far above him alone.

    November 1, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Jim Simpson

    If we can't even provide appropriate over site to a website or Cash for Clunkers, could you imagine Obama as President over something like The Manhattan Project?

    November 1, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. James C

    "bubba
    My grandmother has to pay for Maternity insurance. Thanks Obama, everyone knows women are likely to spit out babies at 83"

    You mean your medicare eligible is being forced to buy private insurance, you must be in the fertilizer business because you reek of it.

    November 1, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  19. AJ

    Many students across the country enroll in health insurance through school. However, the rates of this kind of insurance are high. The Affordable Care Act will help more than just a few hundred or a few thousand, but like anything else that is new, you have to give it time to reach everyone. I know for myself, a student, I am enrolled in student health, but I chose to opt out after this semester, so beginning in January 2014, I can have better coverage (my school insurance does not offer dental or vision) for a much better price. People need to lay off accusing the democrats or the republicans of this or that. Get over yourselves. A two-party system will always be pointing fingers and blaming -why can't you all just see the good in what it does do? If it's not helping you personally, then forget it and move on – It's not hurting you either! People need to open their eyes and their brains; think for yourselves and stop being so quick to judge everything and everyone. Everything in this world takes time. It's not about "democrats" or "republicans". Just because it may not necessarily be good for YOU or your grandma, then forget it and move on. But there are people out there who it is helping, and that's all that matters. It's not hurting you either. Grow up and get on with your lives.

    November 1, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Does anyone know how much we Middleclass (LOW CLASS) tax payers pay for ex-living Presidents, Vice Presidents, their security, Congressman, Senators, and Assemblyman's health care from our taxes? And the ones in office? How about the total dollar amount a year? Could someone publish this amount? I have paid out of my pocket after taxes for one of the best healthcare systems for over 20 years without using it. Now that I need it , it has gone in the crap Hole. I have removed my American Flag from my 15' pole because it no longer is a symbol of what it once stood for. My grandparents and relatives fought and died for that flag in vain. My Government sickens me. We help everyone else first and let our own people suffer from disasters consistently, I'm not proud to be an American anymore . I may still be more free than others but the greed in this country is far overwhelming.

    November 1, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. ms.oh

    "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...... Dear Peety.... That's more like people being bent over and looking back over their shoulder to see what's coming..... Reality check there Peety....

    November 1, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. Metron

    Imagine if Bush had enacted the same ACA laws. You democrats would be ticked off. I can't believe Obama will have wasted his entire 2 terms to ignore the need for jobs and instead stick us with higher premiums under ACA.

    November 1, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. Bostonchick

    I think that a lot of the folks who are being so critical of this system should take a look at the insurance situation in Massachusetts – where there is basically the same type of system that has been set up for years. It works remarkably well, there is affordable insurance options that people can take advantage of and not one person I know is crying about how unfair it is! Give the ACA a chance – if you open your eyes and do some research there is substantial evidence that it will work!

    November 1, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Paula Leon

    FYI: When it comes to OPEN ENROLLMENT for anything people wait till the last minute.

    November 1, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. george cook

    You can dress a PIG up but it's still a PIG in the long run...OINK OINK

    November 1, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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