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. paintpaintpaint

    Duane – that's your INSURANCE company who's screwing you – not the President.

    November 1, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Just shut up. It is a Law. Period. Hospitals, doctors, insurance thugs, pharmacy lost the game. This is nation's dire need.

    November 1, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Pusser

    Whose signs up for these things the first day or the first week? I might go online and read to learn about my options early in the signup period, but I'd likely wait 'til the latter part of that period to actually signup, unless there's a prize for doing it early.

    November 1, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. stagger

    What people don't really get is that this website roll-out is unlike ANY other website roll-out in history.
    When Amazon started.. it started small.. and grew to millions of visitors a day.
    When Google started.. it started small.. and grew to millions of visitors a day.
    The Health Care website... had millions of visitors on DAY ONE. In the history of every website ever, this has never happened. Amazon and Google had to figure out their capacity problems along the way... The did not have 6 million people trying to get to them on day one.
    Now sure... These guys were complete idiots for not thinking of this. And the response has been terrible.
    But this is a unique event in the history of the web... so some slack should be available.

    November 1, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Data Driven


    "Who Data?
    No, seriously who?!"

    Fair is very clever - if I'm going to butt heads with her, I need to feel confident and have my ducks in a row. She's good at catching sloppy comments out.

    Tom L., I realize, annoys a lot of people here, but not me. I like to argue with him. He threw out a nice bit of smack about "how's that encryption thingy going" that I thought was clever. Of course, it was wrong, but I enjoyed it. I like that he replies! - so many conservatives don't, here. Has Gunderson or RIck McDaniel ever engaged?

    Smith seems to have promise, too. Again, he engages.

    It's weird, but I much prefer real debates and smart opponents. I think we get lazy if we're only talking to fools (I'll be nice and not name a few that I could name). It goes along with the larger point about wishing for a SANE conservative party. I'm very nervous about the current GOP - what if this latest incarnation wins the WH again? I don't want my opponents to be ideological lunatics bent on destroying everything I believe in!

    November 1, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Dom

    If we could cut some of the wasteful goverment programs and redirect that money to health care without raising taxes or adding to the debt i would support it. Otherwise it is just more goverment spending of borrowed money that eventually will lead to inflation and destruction of most people's savings. I predict in 15 years any money you have saved will be worth 25% what it is worth now. Unless we balance the budget and start paying down the debt. Those who already don't have anything could care less about that. Those of us working to have something are going to get screwed by our goverment's insane lack of fiscal responsibility. And don't worry – the super rich will just leave and watch the fall of America from another country.

    November 1, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. Obama mama

    6 IS HORRIBLE. Glad that the democrats passed this useless law. Democrats could have worked with republicans and fixed broken aspects of healthcare, but instead, they went wanted a total takeover.

    Well, hopefully, things improve.... and voters remember that hundreds of people got insurance - costing taxpayers over $600,000,000.

    Seriously, this is an embarrassment.

    November 1, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "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."

    Too bad the expert who designed the entire MA system for Romney disagrees with you.

    November 1, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. 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.

    November 1, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Apparently, the MSM/GOP/Teatroll symbiote is terribly concerned with 3% of the populace having a chance of needing to switch health insurance plans but couldn't give two freekin sh-ts that massive food stamp cuts are taking effect today and will effect millions of families, some with children, who are already going hungry.

    Kudos, CNN. Really. What a bang up job you're doing bringing the important issues to the fore.

    November 1, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. ShawnDH

    If it's so few people, why are Republicans so upset?

    Also, signing up means paying and nobody is going to pay now when their benefits don't kick in until next year. Dur.

    November 1, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. deee510

    Gosh there have been so many obamacare bashing stories on here lately. This one is just stupid. It might take people longer than 24 hrs just to evaluate and complete the application. I'd say some of these stories are being published because they need traffic to this site and the bottom feeders drool over an Obama bashing story.

    November 1, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. JoJo

    How's the hopey dopey changey thingy workin' out for you liberals now? What a ship of fools.

    November 1, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Chris

    The best way to fight an action like this (mandatory enrollment, punishable by law) is for everyone to resist signing up and paying the non-compliance fees until the system falls apart.

    November 1, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. Dr Tom

    So in one day, from the morning of 10/2 to the morning of 10/3, the number of enrollees increased from 6 to 248. That' same 4,133 % increase. Seems pretty good to me!

    November 1, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Ok, sumthin doesn't add up. They claim to have had millions hit there servers, yet only 6 sign up?

    November 1, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. rc

    Benghazi-didn't know they requested assistance. NSA-didn't know they were reading citizens emails and bugging world leaders. didn't know the webiste wasn't tested for performance or security. Keep your own health insurance, didn't anticipate people losing their coverage. I am not villifying the President for any of these things but I am curious if he did these things and his name was Bush if wouldn't be getting crucified. I see him as no worse but certainly no better than what we've come to expect from Washington. He is the status quo.

    November 1, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Jim8

    Why did "Romneycare" succeed in Massachusetts? Maybe it's because they didn't have any organized, heavily funded attempts to make it fail.

    November 1, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Brian

    I'm sure there were 10,000 staffers waiting for those 6 calls!

    November 1, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. bwanadave

    I just got a call from one of my sons, he is losing his insurance due to Obamacare. He is a college grad who has had a hard time finding any work during the recession. He finally got a part time job with insurance about a year ago, now the company is changing the coverage and he no longer covered. I can't see how any young person can support this administration after what Obama's policies have done to young people. I read the posts here saying how great Obamacare is and what a success it is and I have to wonder if those people are paid to post such nonsense.

    November 1, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Paulie

    Bahaha we went to the moon in 3 1/2 years and less money now the USA government cant even launch a website in that time. Liberals have lobotomized the nation and foist a get rich quick ponzi scheme on all citizens while some of you sit here and defend this pack of lies others see right through it. Law or not Obamacare will fail the people dont want it.

    November 1, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. SeattleReign

    I don't know where they are getting their figures. My state has put into place our own health care exchange site since they began several years ago planning for ACA implementation. As of October 14, 25,000 had signed up. There were minor glitches on the site, and it seems to be running smoothly. The states who planned for this with their own sites have been successful. The figure of 6 seems not to reflect the truth here. SOMEBODY needs to investigate and get their facts straight.

    November 1, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Guest

    Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies,... Nixon resigned on one lie, much less significant than all these Obama lies.

    November 1, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. PaulB

    6 is a joke and makes no sense if millions of people showed up to sign up. But the site wasn't working properly (because they we're prepared for millions to show up). 6 is just a ridiculous trolling headline designed to get us all to read the dumb article.

    November 1, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. Scott

    "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."....... I just love how every one spins crap thinking it will turn to gold. There is very little "interest"..... It's the LAW! It's a crappy law, but I don't think many of us Amercans are truly interested in it...... more like forced participation.

    November 1, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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