November 1st, 2013
12:50 AM ET
9 years 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.

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Notes from a "war room" meeting at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance between administration officials and contractors working on the rollout of 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. alloutnole

    I'm so glad that this government health plan has Obama's name all over it. It's a complete and utter failure, it's a complete and utter embarrassment to the entire administration. The losers here are the tax payers. We paid millions for a website that doesn't work, we had our tax dollars stolen and diverted to support this crap and no one wants it. Just another example of poor judgement by this president and his administration.

    November 1, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Karen B

    No big surprise.
    Thanks to all who voted to "pass it and then read it"....what difference does it make? words of wisdom. When done with blaming the insurance companies & businesses that are dropping coverage on employees, I guess they will blame it on republicans. "republicans wanted it to fail, so it's republican "mojo" making the website crash and making a totally disastrous program not work.
    recap: it's not a tax (Obama)....confirmed by Supreme Court ONLY as a TAX.
    if you like your insurance plan, you can keep your insurance plan. period. (Obama)
    this is just tip of the iceberg.

    November 1, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Karen B

    PS: I'm one of those who was notified by Duke Energy, lost medical coverage .. Thank you again for those who voted all this in.

    November 1, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Cookie girl

    The real issue here isn't paltry enrollment, it Is the BALD-FACED LIES Omaba told the American people about their ability to keep their healthcare and doctor and healthcare cost. Now he is calling those bona fide insurance plans substandard, and laming cancellation on the insurance companies. The man is an arrogant pathological LIAR.

    November 1, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. Sniffit

    "If you dont understand this, you are not intelligent enough to be allowed to vote."

    You don't understand it. As someone who has studied the health care industry and this law extensively, I can tell you right now that your attempt to reduce the entire insurance industry and its interactions with the ACA to a zero-sum arithmetic equation based on the assumption that you're being jacked so that someone else can pay less is 100% wrong and ridiculous. BTW, enjoy your rebate check when it arrives in a year.

    November 1, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. Don

    To you who think healthcare is a basic human right, I challenge you to show where it has ever been a basic human right. The constitution of the US doesn't guarantee it. And when your "human right" becomes my financial liability, I say that it has denied me one of my basic human rights. And the constitution does protect my liberty.

    November 1, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. Rufus

    20 million visitors to the site 19,999,994 saw the price and left. I'm sure Ferrari gets millions of visitors to a site showcasing their cars as well but how many actually buy? Expect to see bogus numbers real soon because even when the ACA fails they will not admit it

    November 1, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. Gurgyl

    It is better than having no insurance. GOP thugs better know. WCA is a Law. Don't argue. Hospitals, doctors, insurance thugs lost the game.

    November 1, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. Peter

    Obamacare is not perfect, but the Republicans seem ti have no alternative plan except have us all go back to the loving arms of the big insurance companies, who pretty much do whatever they want with you.

    November 1, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. CryBabies

    @ Sniffet......Yaaawwwwwnnnn.

    November 1, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. amdahwd

    I will sign up by December 15 (which is the cutoff date for paying to have my insurance effective in January). I went to the site, set everything up, chose my plan and now just waiting to pay the money. I am sure many people are doing the same as I am.

    November 1, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. Al

    Well you know that the number was extremely small, for this administration loves to toot it's horn, and had the numbers been good on day one with all the hype and the money wasted on a PR firm to sell the ACA. But now with the number being really lower then any of them expected it's a lie and not based on anything factual. Well this administration should know about what a lie is, they've been doing it since 2009, and still are, all to set the seed for a state like there is in Cuba.

    November 1, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. TNPatriot


    @Wire Palladin, S.F.
    We were spendind 110 billion a year on the Iraqi War. Why is the deficit only down 1 biilion. Where is the other 109 Billion.


    Well Jeff, what you don't understand is that the $Billions spent on the Iraq war, as well as Afghanistan, was by design of the Bush administration, NEVER included in the budget, that money was simply added to the debt.

    November 1, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. dberry

    this should be your top story.

    November 1, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. Bovpitt

    No system can be considered a success or a failure in the first year, is ludicrous to have a real assessment in the first two weeks..

    November 1, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. Glenn Doty

    So we have two mornings, the first having 6, the second having 224.

    There are several thousand mathematical trends that can fit those two data points... so we don't know whether the pace has been "good" or "bad". We know the website sucks, and they've been reluctant to release new info... so it's probably "bad"... But if the next day had 2600 enrolled, that would be a "very good" sign, while if the next day had 440 enrolled, that would be a "terrible" sign. Regardless, it's far too early to tell, because they don't even have the website working well yet.

    November 1, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    "That being said, why are we punishing American Citizens by forcing them to purchase health insurance when a large number of the "uninsured" clogging up our hospitals/emergency rooms are the illegal aliens (translated undocumented "workers" for the PC Crowd)? So in reality this law is the poor subsidizing the illegal."

    In reality and just to be clear, I have members of my own extended family who use our hospital/emergency rooms as their personal healthcare facilities. They were conceived and born in America. "Real" Americans, if you insist. Not only do they feel it is their "right" to allow other taxpayers to cover their expenses, they are quite happy with their status quo of non insurance emergency coverage. Indeed, they become proud when "thanking" the rest of us for their coverage.

    To date our taxes have covered my various family members (who are not insured) for breast cancer removal and reconstruction surgery; heart attack; diabetes treatments; congestive heart failure intensive care; and a host of minor incidents including but not limited to burns, cuts, abrasions, colds, allergies, influenza, and drug rehabilitation. They are also all of them quite proud to call themselves Republican.

    Do I find this acceptable? No at all. But, please understand, I am simply pointing out it isn't just Democrats (and illegals) use and abuse the "system".

    Personally, I am tired of the arguments pro and con. I would like to put all of this to rest and simply have universal healthcare put forward.

    Considering my extended family as I outlined them, I would be a hypocrite to suggest otherwise.

    November 1, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. rep

    Who cares what it was a month ago? It's more important what the number is now and the most important number by far will be at the end of the 6-month enrollment period. It's mildly interesting news, but it's irrelevant IMO.

    November 1, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Peoples State of Illinois


    It is better than having no insurance. GOP thugs better know. WCA is a Law. Don't argue. Hospitals, doctors, insurance thugs lost the game.
    Please, go find two brain cells to rub together.

    November 1, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. livinginva

    Lots of people are going, gathering information and taking the time to read and compare before signing up. Most people I know don't make major purchases without doing research for a few weeks first.

    November 1, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. Redeye Dog

    This is just another one of Obama's lies! He said everyone would "save" money with their new plans. But as usual, he didn't tell the whole truth! While the monthly cost of a given plan may be lower than a plan of similar coverage, the payer will have to factor in deductibles which more than double.

    When you factor in the total cost of healthcare for a family who needs healthcare, they don't save ANYTHING with Obamacare! In fact, the added cost (for actually using healthcare) may be enough to break the backs of regular people already struggling to get by. Obamacare will force people to sell their homes while and being forced to accept lower standards of living.

    The large corporations will go unaffected because they will just pass the additional cost over to the employees. However, Obamacare is poised to put many small businesses, out of business, and increase our country's unemployment and lower overall productivity.

    What a mess? Or is it exactly what the creator intended?

    November 1, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. oscar

    Six people from day 1 because the website was down.

    Yes, the website was a failure. No, that doesn't mean health insurance for all Americans is a bad idea. It's like Paul Krugman's joke about Republicans complaining about Obamacare: Republican 1 – "Obamacare is slavery!" Republican 2 – "And it's so hard to sign up!"

    November 1, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. Fair is Fair


    "Well, sure they can. Then they can follow it up with a story of how the Obama administration is borrowing $24 Billion EVERY SIX DAYS."

    And they can include in that story how it's not Obama's fault but rather CONGRESS's fault, because CONGRESS enacted the laws mandating that the money be spent.
    Lame. Only a small percentage of the budget is discretionary spending. The rest is mandatory entitlements (which balooned under Obama) and debt servicing (which doubled under Obama). That's what's causing the borrowing. YAWN.

    November 1, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. Fields

    Obamacare is doomed.

    November 1, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  25. Aaron

    @ alloutnole

    LOL...Wut? Derpy, Derp, Derp.

    November 1, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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