November 1st, 2013
12:50 AM ET
6 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. danita

    this is too funny. Who's going to pay for their premium...

    November 1, 2013 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  2. Justin McDaniel

    "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.

    Or... Just to see how they have to sell their soul for....

    November 1, 2013 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  3. Anonymous

    I posted online around Oct. 3rd that there would be 500,000 people who had actually purchased plans after 6 months; that would be the end of March, 2014. I may have been a little optimistic. I am not really R nor D so no dog in this fight, except I believe in the concept of health coverage for every American at a price they can bear.

    November 1, 2013 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  4. betterdays

    Well then it's a darn good thing all of those people got cancellation notices and are about to join the ranks of the uninsured. What an incredibly convenient stroke of good luck for Obamacare supporters!

    November 1, 2013 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  5. Data Driven

    What's the point of this story? Besides propaganda, I mean?

    Read it carefully. It's entirely an opinion piece. 6 people enrolled in the first 24 hours is apropos of exactly nothing. Here's the only actual information in the piece:

    ""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."

    The rest of it is propaganda, paid for by the insurance behemoths shown on the right side of this page who are directly competing against companies within the Obamacare matrix.

    Here's what I want to start seeing on this site: the phrase "Sponsored Content" at the head of every article on Obamacare.

    November 1, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  6. bear

    "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 stupid video "What Does the Fox Say" got 20 million in the last 4 days. 20 million visitors, especially when many are just visiting to see if it is really working or not is not very many.

    November 1, 2013 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  7. Rick

    Talk about grasping at straws! The administration is bragging about how many people have shown interest. Yeah, shown interest and NOT signed up!!!

    November 1, 2013 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  8. Anonymous

    I think the numbers are wrong. They must have forgot about the guy living in Northwest corner of Montana. It should of been 7. It's like abad Saturday Night Live skit.

    November 1, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  9. Makes Sense

    If =I= went to healthcare.gov each day for the first month I'm pretty darn sure I wouldn't apply for insurance until I made sure that everything there was at or less than what's available elsewhere. Why does the Me-Too Media think otherwise? Oh, that's right...they continue to get "writing" (nee "echoing") ideas from people like Rep. Issa.

    November 1, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  10. kelly

    people have all year, year after year to sign up

    November 1, 2013 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  11. Guest

    obamacare is a bunch of baloney.

    November 1, 2013 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  12. Chuck

    They talk about the first two days during the shutdown. It's been 30 days and the total is now over 500,000 for JUST the federal site. There are many state exchanges that were set up as well that have been very successful. It's funny how we never hear about those exchanges in mostly non-GOP led states. Of course, if all 50 states had set up exchanges, then the roll out would have been much smoother. The GOP is confirming why I left the party 10 years ago.

    November 1, 2013 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  13. SMITVICT

    Six. Wow.

    November 1, 2013 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  14. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    In the first day, 6 people. On day two, 248 had successfully enrolled. I am confident that even with the 24 states who fought this every step of the way, refused to allow information to get out, refused to set up exchanges, there will be 7 million enrolled before the target date.

    But what is more important, those 7 million will never vote for a lying republican again.

    November 1, 2013 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  15. awtinsc

    Maybe part of the "problem" is that Obamacare is NOT affordable for a lot of Americans. Even with subsidies, this non-insurance would cost my family over $300 a month between premiums and deductibles. As a 57YO working only 20 hours a week with no benefits (Masters degree to boot!), I cannot afford this. I will continue to pay out of pocket for survival care. I've already had to abandon a medically necessary med that would cost more than my mortgage payment. A catastrophic illness (ie, one costing us more than $10,000) will force me into bankruptcy. My wife has already filed due to uninsured medical expenses. Welcome to the New Reality!

    November 1, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  16. awtinsc

    Maybe part of the "problem" is that Obamacare is NOT affordable for a lot of Americans. Even with subsidies, this non-insurance would cost my family over $300 a month between premiums and deductibles. As a 57YO working only 20 hours a week with no benefits (Masters degree to boot!), I cannot afford this. I will continue to pay out of pocket for survival care. I've already had to abandon a medically necessary med that would cost more than my mortgage payment. A catastrophic illness (ie, one costing us more than $10,000) will force me into bankruptcy. My wife has already filed due to uninsured medical expenses. Welcome to the New Reality!

    November 1, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  17. Data Driven

    From Media Matters:

    "In his bad-news Obamacare report featuring three frustrated health care consumers, CNN's Drew Griffin admitted that he didn't even bother looking for success stories. Instead, as host Anderson Cooper explained, because Obama had given a speech extolling the benefits of Obamacare, it was CNN's and Griffin's job to "counter against that."

    November 1, 2013 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  18. Noocray

    This is SUCH a garbage headline. It acts as if the federal site is the only exchange. For the most part, the states that took the feds money and made their own have been quiye successful and were from the start.

    November 1, 2013 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  19. Tom Legare

    What kind of Government do we have when half of it is routing for the country to fail?? I still say it's totally anti-American and borderline treasoneous.

    November 1, 2013 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  20. Sammy

    So, Mass had only 113 the first month to sign up. Millions will be signed up by March 2014.

    November 1, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  21. thedoctor

    We're Americans. We do everything "last minute." This shouldn't surprise anybody.

    November 1, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  22. RD

    I knew Obamacare was going to be a big failure, and an expensive one; I did not expect it to be this bad and this early. Still time to turn back!

    November 1, 2013 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  23. Smacmack

    Hundreds of millions of dollars for a website to service 6 (initial) enrollees. Yup...another successful program brought to you by your government.

    November 1, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  24. Nick

    The statistic they need to release is how many came to the site (or the call centers, or whatever), looked, and then declined to enroll. A smart program would have then asked why they declined so we would all know the programs issues (cost relative to fine/tax, coverage, deductibles, etc.)

    November 1, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  25. ob

    Yeah! Go Obamacare!

    November 1, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
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