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. the guy

    i hope most of you know when a website or a program roles out. its going to have bugs period. Close to impossible to find everything wrong until a problem arises. give it maybe 6 months to get some of the issues out. try it out if you dont like it then nag everyone about it. you dont need to work in the IT department to figure it out

    November 1, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. Data Driven


    "@ Sniffet......Yaaawwwwwnnnn."

    I know, boring, huh? A guy who, with almost every post, uses facts to support his comments is just sooo yawn.

    I wonder, can you do the same? I've yet to see it, since you showed up here. Disagree with him, but demonstrate WHY you think he's wrong. Can you do it? Or do you just run useless smack?

    I'm encouraging you. We need smarter conservatives on here; we only have a few.

    November 1, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Anthony J Hyde

    In this case "enrolled" means those who paid for the policy listed on the exchanges up front instead of waiting until January 1st (the original startup date) as most people like myself don't want to pay for bills three months in advance.

    November 1, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. Sniffit

    "And when your "human right" becomes my financial liability"

    That's fundamentally how insurance works. Cry more.

    November 1, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    So in reality this law is the poor subsidizing the illegal
    No. In reality this is the way you sound when you don't know what you're talking about.

    November 1, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota


    I am sorry, but I did try to respond to your comment. I referenced the various members of my extended family (all born in America) who have used emergency rooms as their private heath care system. And, oh yeah. They aren't insured either. I outlined their "free coverage" procedures and I also mentioned that they consider themselves proud Republicans.

    As Data has been suggesting, many of us "regulars" have recently found our comments are being heavily moderated. I won't try and repeat my response to you.

    Suffice it to say, I am lobbying for Universal Health Care. I'd be a hypocrite to suggest anything less, considering what my extended family members have already been given "freely" over the years.

    November 1, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. no shoes, no shirt, no service

    And if/when the ACA fails, the usual defenders will deflect criticism by attacking Bush, the tea party, or whatever the flavor of the day might be. It would be refreshing if @sniffit and Rudy NYC could occasionally "man up" and acknowledge that Obama has screwed the pooch , just as every president before has done, and just as every following president will undoubtedly do. Talk about a broken record.....

    November 1, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Moores rule

    Seems like president Obama is fighting to get people in America covered, but seemed like gorge bush was fighting for more death, more money for his buddies and him. I do understand taking the fight to the enemy before they can bring it to you,, I guess I see PO as a better leader. It seems like the today's Dems have less care for big corporations, and more care for the American. Today Gop seem more concerned with bad tacticks, like yellow journalism, propaganda, media bias, ad hominem, and half-truths, Too bad we just can't all get along for the betterment of all men, women, and kids,

    November 1, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. Tinysview

    Yesterday it was reported that in Washington state alone there were 50,000 enrolled in Obama Care. When we had our own business we had one of those "major medical" plans that cost us but never paid out. It was a ruse. We would go to the clinic they would hand us a bill. We would offer to pay it with cash. They said but if they would submit it to our insurance company it might help. So they did. The insurance company would deny the claim because it was not on the plan that we could get. Then the clinic would reduce our bill by about a third. For more work they charged less. No wonder Americans pay three times more for medical care than the rest of the industrialized world. I thank God for Obama Care!!

    November 1, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. c

    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.


    So you are a retiree? And if you are, why no mention of the fact that the company is paying a stipend equal to the current cost of insurance so that retirees can purchase their own insurance via the exchanges.

    November 1, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Data Driven
    We need smarter conservatives on here; we only have a few
    Who Data?
    No, seriously who?!

    November 1, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. California

    This roll-out makes 'absolutely pathetic' look fantastic.

    November 1, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. george t hibs

    Obamacare will ultimately implode under its own bloated weight. No, it will not take disgruntled Republicans to kill it. Nor can Democrats who support this bill save it in the long run. You see are government is only good at spending money – LOTS OF IT! The government does not make any products but they do believe if there is a social problem and they throw enough money at it (in billions), they can fix it. The truth is the original problem never goes away, the insane amounts of money simply appeases all the special interest groups to stop complaining about it. Obamacare is built on a very flawed business model, one that will implode all by itself eventually. Actually sooner than later unfortunately. As I said the government makes nothing, nor does it know how to develop a business model. Six people signed up the first day! Just wait until Joe Average American finds out he and his family will be fined by Big Government AKA the IRS for failure to purchase a health insurance policy if one is not already provided by an employer. Proponents of this law up front including Obama, said only employer's would be fined. But this is really everyday people will face IRS penalties. Isn't this exactly why the Colonists in Boston held the Boston Tea Party??? (not to be confused with THE Tea Party!)

    November 1, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. Petunia

    When the only people who buy coverage are the heavily subsidized, aids & std transmitters and the wealthy, a cashflow shortfall will sink obamacare.

    November 1, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. mikey

    Canadian here laughing my butt off at you folks – how can you possibly know that our system is awful, too expensive, and slow, and want to emulate that? unreal.

    November 1, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. wally

    Wow, the Obama haters are having a great time today.

    Enjoy it while you can children. We all know how miserable you will be once this thing starts working and you will have to go back to complaining about Benghazi

    November 1, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. ztarbod

    Comparing Massachusetts' experience to Obamacare is a nonstarter. Massachusetts reportedly did a phased implementation, where the majority of purchasing consumers weren't involved until the third phase. So, of course, Massachusetts had low numbers early on for paying consumers.

    November 1, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Dean

    Yes when you spend 640 milliion dollars for a product and it is broke before you use it. Money well spent.

    November 1, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Johnny Triumph

    @the guy, you're right, bugs happen. But so do Beta and User Acceptance testing cycles. Most hardened IT shops do phased rollouts and thus catch the showstopper bugs before it hits primetime. Sheesh! No excuse for the govt or the techies who built this mess.

    November 1, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. Duane St.Pete FL

    Six huh? Well, my wife is now booted from my insurance and she will need to find new doctors....and get insurance thru her work.....when you add what she will have to pay to what I still need to pay to cover the two kids and my wife's new policy we got hit pretty hard. Thanks Obama the lair and socialist in charge.....what a joke

    November 1, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Veritas

    CNN – Again, the [Obama HHS] department declined to release the number of Americans who have been able to successfully enroll in the exchange.

    What's up with this? They even admit they have the numbers. What in the world happened to "the-most-transparent-administration-in-history?"

    November 1, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. pauleky

    The media's corporate masters have clearly instructed that only the negative should be reported on Obamacare. Based on some of the comments here, most aren't bothering to learn the truth for themselves. Sad.

    November 1, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. Dana

    6 people crashed a website, bwahahahahahaha

    November 1, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. DZenn

    Politicians do not have the power to kill the ACA but lack of users do. If very few people sign up for this program, they will not be able to fund it.. I would guess that a large percentage of those that have signed up are individuals with pre-existing conditions and not insurable.. If healthy individuals do not sign up, funding will be almost impossible..

    November 1, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. paintpaintpaint

    What an insane article. I and a lot of people I know WAITED to sign up, thinking that there would be a mad rush. I'm still waiting. Mid month this month or next – people mean to take advantage of this – it's new, and we want to do the right thing. Why do you need exact numbers Veritas? Are you going to enroll if everybody else does?

    November 1, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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