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. Black Dynamite

    I know someone who works at one of their call centers. Most of the day, they sit there, and wait for calls!
    He gets 6-8 calls in an 8-hour day!

    This thing is for the truly desperate and foolish.....

    November 1, 2013 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  2. Mike

    The website barely worked during the first two weeks ago, it was easy to get information on specific insurance plans...deciding which plan to buy is a different matter, because each plan has specific and restrictive networks of providers...The only way one could quickly sign up is totally disregard the consequences of the restricted provider network of that plan. Picking a plan is not a simple decision unless you simply do not care which doctors or hospitals are in network.

    November 1, 2013 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  3. meat

    WOW. Should we be surprised?

    November 1, 2013 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  4. Leroy

    Perhaps a free iPhone will entice the youngsters to sign-up for insurance...

    November 1, 2013 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  5. Jerry

    Only 6 people enrolled....hahahahaah:)

    November 1, 2013 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  6. Scott

    8 people total in 4 weeks, from 5 states, in insurance enrollments. Tens of thousands, though, new Medicaids.
    Kansas, using $830,000 from Obamacare to hire navigators, located in 430 locations, has zero (0) insurance enrollees in 4 weeks, not a good record for them.

    November 1, 2013 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  7. Lela

    Soooooo funny, I guess SNL got that one right, hihi

    November 1, 2013 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  8. Mark

    Six people? That kind of shoots a hole in the "the site is having problems due to overwhelming demand!" excuse.

    November 1, 2013 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  9. Frank Ewing

    At the end of the day we ALL simply need affordable care. This is BEST accomplished with the LARGEST POOL of people and the easiest way to do it would be to simply provide it for all and get the insurance companies out of it. Just as we need roadways, airline monitoring (FAA), and so much else, we certainly need care at times. National Health Care and a populace working on themselves to get and stay healthy really are the only ways to best provide for all and with LESS, MUCH LESS expense than we do now! People need to remember that an unhealthy nation is VERY expensive!! The slamming of an effort to put us in this direction at least doesn't help,....let's move forward and achieve this instead of complaining so much!

    November 1, 2013 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  10. American Taliban

    Wow all that and yet the terrorist arm of the GOP caused the people of America 26 billion dollars to shut down government?

    November 1, 2013 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  11. Chris Haley

    This is the worst article I have ever seen. Is this now called journalism? Do you have no shame Jason Seher writing a sensationalist piece of crap. When did the news become a rumor mill with no real evidence facts and just a lot of bias and hate.

    November 1, 2013 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  12. Sean Patrick

    This should be expected. Its no different from buying any other major purchase. Every person is doing the research to make sure they get the best plan for themselves and their family. When Massachusetts first went online with their state run program the average person took 6 months to finally decide on what plan they wanted so this is no different. The ACA isnt perfect by any stretch of the imagination, it really needs a public option or single payer system, but at least its a step in the right direction. The system we have now has been corrupted by croney capitalism and needs to go.

    November 1, 2013 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  13. Tealiban is antiAmerican

    That was a month ago, why so much focus on the first 24 hours? As they say, Roma wasn't built in a day. Jason Seher must be a Tea-liban sympathizer.

    November 1, 2013 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  14. Brain

    Keep up the good work Obama and the Democrats. You signed up 6 people and got 7,000,000 to lose insurance.

    November 1, 2013 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  15. Drakenfly

    But it's...Obamacare...the savior of all woes...

    November 1, 2013 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  16. cavington

    Wow a whole 6 people.

    November 1, 2013 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  17. SteveinLVNV

    This fiasco is a rousing, epic FAIL!! When there are not enough people buying these grossly overpriced plans this OWEbamaCare will not work!! Not only have the American people been seriously burned by the non functioning website costing us millions, and yet still not working. This entire monstrous program has been promoted by 3 years of LIES and misinformation. Now millions are finding out they have been lied to, they are losing insurance plans they were promised they could keep! And this ineptocracy in DC has no idea of the harm and havoc they are creating, and don't really care who they hurt!

    Now the new "approved" insurance plans being shoved on the people are for the most part are costing 2-3 times more, with immense deductibles costing thousands of dollars in too many cases, and have coverage that will never be needed!! The way its set up, I doubt it will ever work like they want and will implode like an old casino who's time has come, and crashes to the ground... The sooner the better!

    November 1, 2013 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  18. fox

    I'm surprised THEY didn't go the full exposure route and say only 666 enrolled.

    November 1, 2013 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  19. taitsop

    Nice hysteria driven headline. Article talks about enrollment a month ago as if it was happening today.

    November 1, 2013 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  20. NeoPrudentist

    Let's see, $600 million for 6 enrollments. That's just 100 million per, or about the price of a dozen M1 Abrams tanks.

    Sounds worth it to me.

    November 1, 2013 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  21. Andre

    Well, SNL did say "Unfortunately, the site was only designed to handle six users at a time". I wonder if they had inside info or if that was just a lucky guess.

    November 1, 2013 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  22. Don

    Call Ted Cruz a radical and he's been right the whole time. Harry Reed and Nancy Pelosi are left wing nut cases.

    November 1, 2013 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  23. DAI

    I got insurance because I know now there is no demand and premiums are low. Later on when people are trying to register before the deadline is going to be crazy.

    November 1, 2013 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  24. Monty Python

    And how many people signed up for AOL chat rooms in the mid1990s? There was 1 chat room back then with a few dozen people in it. Now look at the internet today, and how many billions on social media. Give it some time folks.

    November 1, 2013 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  25. RD

    ha ha. At this rate if you do the math, it would take 150 million over 6,000 years to sign up. Put this law in the shredder and start over. Individual states can do better than this.

    November 1, 2013 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
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