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. Homunculus

    Obamacare is rapidly turning into one big joke. I'll happily stick with my private insurance and grab some popcorn because the circus is in town. When no one signs up or can't afford it, as is the case, the real fun begins.

    November 1, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. liberal disease

    leave me alone i like my insurance, i know whats best for me!

    November 1, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. VEW2012

    Eric. If you have a mini-med plan they can drop you in a New York minute if you develop Multiple Sclerosis (normally a later life onset disease), they can drop you for developing diabetes by labeling that as a preexisting condition.

    November 1, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. GOPnightmare

    The real problem with Obama Care is that they rushed to get it done. I think we need real health care reform in this country and anyone that says other wise is out of touch with reality. Business would benefit from it. But the very fact that Republicans did nothing when it was being worked on says a lot about how out of touch they are with the public in general. I know some will say I am wrong but the actions of a minority branch of the Republican party known as the Tea Party during the shutdown says a lot. That they are not interested in the average american. They only seem to be interested in placing blame on others. And making government other words they are still following the failed legacy of Reagan.

    November 1, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. farside6262

    I've been trying to enroll since 10/1, but the website isn't working. The number six is ever so slightly misleading.

    November 1, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. bdby

    Obama has an adgenda and that is he is out to bring down America to its knees. In his position he managed to bamboozle his party into voting into law something no one except him understands via Obamacare, in the military Air force they are being taught Christians are a threat. Unmitigated spying on our allies and us. He is sure making us look like a country other countries would want to look up to and follow (sarcasm). Now he is cutting back on the food program for the poor. I am really glad to see that he could not for see this major disaster with his web site. Yet he is willing to send money to his muslim brothers in Egypt and pay illegals our tax dollars for being illegally dead. Yes there is a story out there payments from Medicaid are being sent to dead illegals. It also begs the question where do all the illegals stand in this? Do they gain access to this system and get discounted benefits while true Americans get denied that money? America needs answers too these also.

    This law has to be repealed via vote and that won’t be until 2014 when all the Democrats are not voted out of office but BOOTED out of office. The Republican party can promote the devil himself as their candidate and I would vote for him. At least I know they will take care of this matter pronto.

    November 1, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  7. Mark

    6 sign ups . . . . can see how desperate the 30 million "without healthcare" are . . . . another campaign factoid that doesn't pass muster. . . . list is getting pretty long dude.

    November 1, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. Leeman

    Classic. They aren't finding too many rushing to overpay for insurance. Several of the lies have been verified and there is more to come. Just scratching the surface on this whole debacle and it is getting funnier every day.

    November 1, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. sdfdsf

    I think that once people get a taste of the new healthcare program, this bickering will be a thing of the past. Only my concern is that we formulate a real way to pay for it (decrease other costs and increase taxes). Plus, lets get rid of insurance altogether – they are the ones increasing costs. Thanks for listening

    November 1, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    "Well, you go for it, Anonymous! Grab that better coverage on the open market – and then come back here and let us know how it's better than that stupid "Oharycare" plan."

    It's funny that you don't believe the fact that you can get better healthcare for a more affordable price. If you go to and enter in your info you'll see that your 2014 rate is about 400% higher then what your 2013 rate is - and yes they give you the per month rate. My healthcare for 2013 for at 80/20 plan runs 160 a month in 2014 that plan will run me 310 per month. So yeah laugh all you want - but right now you can get healthcare for a more affordable price. Also a side note - eheath is a company that has been around selling insurance on the internet for 15 years now.

    November 1, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. Bill Peck

    How about a couple small changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Nicknamed ObamaCare). 1: Should your insurance carrier provide you with intent to cancel your medical insurance because the carrier can’t provide specific service(s) without an increase in policy cost; or, the company just can’t provide the coverage for any reason; the policy holder retains the right to elect to keep the existing medical policy without the service(s) not provided. The individual shall not be required to enroll in one of the ACA programs unless the individual wants the service(s) not offered by his/her current insurance. The cost of current insurance plus cost of any ACA service(s) plan shall be borne by the individual. 2: Should an individual without any medical insurance coverage decline medical insurance coverage as explained by the ACA, that individual does so with the understanding that all expenses for medical care incurred while not covered shall be the individual’s responsibility and enrollment into an ACA plan may only be completed during the open enrollment period, each year. A commitment of not less than four years shall be incurred when enrolling into an ACA plan. 3: The provisions of 1 and 2, above, do not apply to individuals otherwise eligible or covered by Medicaid and/or Medicare and accompanying medical plans. 4: Should your place of employment decide not to offer medical insurance or decides to no longer carry an approved medical insurance plan the provisions of 1, 2 or 3, above, applies.
    These changes should satisfy everyone, even the GOP/Tea Party members of Congress and the lovers.

    November 1, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Jeff Adler

    Are people here serious. I have a plan at work, it changes little year to year, and I typically enroll on the last day available.

    This has a 6 month sign up period. People are getting a bit hysterical about the numbers this early in the enrollment period.

    November 1, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. mikle

    This is a joke.

    November 1, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. suzisaul

    ""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."

    More like 20 million people trying to find out just how much this law is going to cost them.

    November 1, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. ShaBoingBoing

    The real problem is the $250 million dollars of tax payers money our govt will spend on the website. Obamacare being an epic failure is one thing, spending a quarter of a billion of our tax dollars is just nauseating.
    Our govt squeezes every cent out of those struggling to make a living then spends it foolishly and without conscience because they didn't have to work hard to earn it.

    November 1, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. Rick E.

    If drug companies and insurance companies were not a bunch of unscrupulous thieves Obamacare probably wouldn't be necessary. Sure Obamacare is a bit screwed up but it's the health care industry in general that is completely at messed up. I could stay in a 5 star hotel for a week for the price it costs to stay in a hospital for one night, why is that. And if doctors were more concerned about their patients that their paychecks maybe they would be worth what they are paid but they are not. The whole industry is a joke but it's Obamacare that is the focal point.

    November 1, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Fred Flintstone

    Leave me alone potus pos loser!

    November 1, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Horseshoe

    I'd like to say that Conservatives are the ones responsible for the failure of the Republican party. Tea Partiers are Republican Party splitters. Plus, they also want nothing to do with the poor. Thanks for listening.

    November 1, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. Beagle

    Many people just want healthcare. Obamacare fits the bill.

    November 1, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. endless lies

    Liberals forgot one minor detail when they thrust obamacare upon us. Young people need to sign up in order for this to work but where are young people going to find jobs because you liberals have killed most businesses out there. I dont know if this is supreme ignorance or its by design but this will fail and fail miserably. Im just going to sit back, watch the destruction and laugh. I am already rich so I could care less.

    November 1, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. WarlockWardrobe

    Perhaps Republicans can offer up something significant to assist lowering the real cost of healthcare? I'm waiting...

    November 1, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. Bill

    No way anyone from HHS can call information about O-care enrollments incomplete or false, since they refuse to release the information themselves.

    This "affordable" care act is doomed to implode upon itself, without anyone's help.

    November 1, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. FedRed

    Obama knows whats best for you! Keep drinking the Kool-aid,

    November 1, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. simplyput

    I've been covered by ACA for three years...deductibles were $2000 with $6000 out of pocket max. Now there is no deductible under $5,000 for offered plans, except one for $3,500. Won't be paying any fine, because my governor saw that this is illegal to begin with. Peace.

    November 1, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. Jimmy

    6 the first day and 242 the second day. That's more than a forty fold increase in just one day. At this rate, by December 15, there will be 10**120 people signed up. And don't forget, many of those people will have families. But some percentage of those enrollments will be incorrectly reported to the insurance companies. They have been correcting those by hand, but I know know if that will scale. It would help if we could have those 6 enrollments broken down by levels of inaccuracy.

    November 1, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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