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. Darrell

    Are they counting DDoS attacks as visitors to the site?

    November 1, 2013 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  2. SNLWriter

    Sounds like an SNL skit.

    November 1, 2013 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  3. R. Hurst

    Thumbs up if you think Obama should be impeached.

    November 1, 2013 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  4. Anonymous

    And Senator Ted Cruz said the ObamaCase website did not work.

    November 1, 2013 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  5. Susan

    People, take a chill pill!!

    Buying health insurance is serious business and people should take their time to review and compare before making a decision they'll have to live with for at least a year.

    I'm a self-employed Texan with a pre-existing condition. My current coverage is via the TX High Risk Pool, which is closing on 12/31/2013 – no surprise there. So, I need to get insurance before 1/1/2014. I've created an account and completed an application on 10/23/2013. For the last week, I've had issues moving forward with my enrollment. However, today, I called the 800 number provided in's webpage and after a few minutes, my issue was resolved.

    What I've done in the last week is gather information regarding terminology, visited BCBS's website to see what plans were available outside exchange and then went to Exchange and printed out list of possible plans available to me. I've eliminated HMOs from my choices, and that still leaves me about 15 plans to review. And, most will save me about 50% or more in monthly premiums – alright! I don't expect to complete enrollment the next time I visit the website. I want to make sure I know what I'm doing. There are still 6 weeks before 12/15, so there is plenty of time to work thru the kinks. Just breathe...........

    November 1, 2013 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  6. Brian

    Is it just me, or was that the most impossible to interpret, bizarrely pointless headline article ever produced?

    November 1, 2013 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  7. Belseth

    We all know people don't procrastinate! I mean most tax returns are filed on day one, right?

    November 1, 2013 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  8. richard

    I asked my wife who hadn't yet seen this news, what she guessed the number of signups was on Day 1. She said 10. I told her, 'that would been a good day'.

    November 1, 2013 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  9. 66rock

    Is CNN trying to compete with a certain fox these days? Misleading headline for sure. Wonder when all those Kentucky and Ca signups were then,

    November 1, 2013 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  10. Namelaura

    All we are saying is give this a chance! Aca. Will benefit our country.

    November 1, 2013 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  11. Dave Green

    That is abysmal! They better get their act together on this because the nails in the coffin of ACA are being hammered in even as we speak.

    November 1, 2013 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  12. Dr_Dr_Please

    Six people enrolled on the first day. Six. Not six-hundred or six-thousand. Just six.

    This ACA program belongs six feet under. Bury it.

    Makes me six

    November 1, 2013 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  13. DeepeThought

    Obamacare “only works … if young people show up.” – President Obama
    Young people are not showing up.
    The Republicans were correct. The ACA was a bad idea from the start because its success was based on misinformation and preposterous ideals. It was not ready for implementation and should have at least been delayed!
    I will no longer vote Democrat as long as I live (which might not be as long now that the ACA has gone into effect).

    November 1, 2013 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  14. Punchmaster

    Epic. Fail.

    ***golf clap***

    November 1, 2013 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  15. Gig 'em

    "Americans are excited to look at their options for health coverage, with record demand in the first days of the marketplaces," said the release announcing the ObamaCare start-up.

    And a total of six signed up that day? So much for the credibility of the Obama administration and the Democrats as a whole. Hillary, you've got an uphill battle from here.

    November 1, 2013 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  16. guest

    yeah I need a like button for this 😉

    November 1, 2013 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  17. Steve

    I want to know how this happened.

    November 1, 2013 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  18. MrManhattan

    The Federal site is for those states that didn't set up their own exchanges.

    Those states tend to be places where education levels are dismal, diabetes, obesity and smoking are prevalent, and the local politicians are, not only Rethuglican, but in most cases, The American Taliban.

    Who expected subjects of those states to enroll in droves? They would rather have an Uzi than healthcare!

    November 1, 2013 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  19. Ricky

    American people don't deserve healthcare. Let them go back to the insurance racket and die at home with their families praying over them.

    November 1, 2013 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  20. Dirt

    All I know is, coming Jan 1st. My Health Insurance will drop from $950 a month to $500 for my family with a lower deductible and lower co-pay. I did this over the phone. But it doesn't matter if its over the phone, the internet, or mail by pigeons. If its going to save me this much, I'll support it. Thanks Obamacare.

    November 1, 2013 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  21. bearitstrong

    Weary of all the talk.

    November 1, 2013 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  22. Weezy

    What a disgrace! Least I don't have to pay for those bums or illegals who go have their kids in the E.R. anymore.

    November 1, 2013 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  23. Kevin

    Directly from the WH website..."The Affordable Care Act means better coverage for those who already have health insurance, and more options for those who don’t.". I checked. IF I signed up, I would get less coverage (dramatically) and pay 50% more in premiums. And trust me, I don't have that good of insurance and I pay through the nose for it. How much longer are the American people going to put up with all of these lies?

    November 1, 2013 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  24. Jake Norton

    Nothing is perfect at the start. Specifically, something as large as Obamacare will have its ups and downs. This could be a start for something beautiful. The less wealthy will have a chance at affordable healthcare. Although this may be considered a socialist tendency, Americans shall remember that Obama is attempting to help jumpstart the economy. It will be interesting to see how this works out. Lets all hope for the best!

    November 1, 2013 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  25. Ken Harms

    "Again, the department declined to release the number of Americans who have been able to successfully enroll in the exchange."

    What kind of idiot management is that?! Do you know how long I would keep my job if I "delcined" to tell me boss how a program was going? Yea, nanoseconds.

    And, worse, Mr.Obama, by taking no action on these enrollment deniers, condones public officials witholding information from and lying to the public.

    Public servants have morphed into public masters.

    November 1, 2013 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
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