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. Sean

    Either this things needs to work and people are covered, or just dump it as a failure and find another solution.

    My guess is that the "exchange" idea will fail and they'll try to force everyone onto a single payer solution because this "exchange" failed.


    Socialized medicine.

    November 1, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  2. rh

    Enrolled Applied

    Mass media is spinning this to be much different than it actually is.

    I didn't think anyone would actually get enrolled until at least 30 days. This is government program, for goodness sake, and it takes time to review and approve applications.

    The pertinent numbers are over 700,000 applied as of a few days ago. Come back in December and tell us how many of those applications were not reviewed yet. Oh, and REMEMBER it was a government shutdown when the program rolled out...

    November 1, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  3. Name

    What a disaster...

    November 1, 2013 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  4. smith

    People are lazt these day and are not will to take the time required to complete the process. Besides thte lazy factor the website is just awful. These factors were overlooked by the Dems. ACA enrollment is a month in with terrible results. AcA=F

    November 1, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  5. independent

    Obamacare includes the State Exchanges. Taking that into consideration, don't you think your headline is misleading at best, and a lie at worst?

    November 1, 2013 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  6. Rachel

    So this is the reason why Sebelius and others in the administration didn't want to reveal any numbers. This is pretty pathetic.

    November 1, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  7. mediafail.2012

    Well, at least we know why no one in the administration would answer the question "How many people signed up for Obamacare?"

    Hundreds of millions spent, lots of news coverage, 3 years to build......and 6 people enroll in the first day.

    November 1, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |

    And these numbers surprise who? "Affrodable" is NOT what I called the prices when I looked. Ill pay the fine.

    November 1, 2013 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  9. AJM

    It's better than 5.....

    November 1, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  10. DrDanno

    Just went all the way through the AFA process on I created an account, entered info for my wife and I and was reviewing plans in – literally – 10 minutes. Enrollment was a click away if I had actually wanted to buy something. Got prices from multiple insurance carriers displayed on an easy to compare, point by point comparison table. Smooth as silk. I happen to be in WV – a state that is participating in the exchange and has a Democratic governor.

    November 1, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  11. PileOfSteamingPolitician

    The free market has spoken. Not even lipstick will save the plan.

    November 1, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  12. Lamar

    $600 million for a poorly planned website + a poorly planned law = terrible enrollment. American's deserve a better president then this.

    November 1, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  13. Charles

    President Obama compared the rollout glitches of Obamacare to the launch of iPhone. I'm guessing they sold more than six iPhones on day one.

    November 1, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  14. Bellamay

    I think it is worth noting. When Katrina happened Pat Robertson said that God was punishing them because they were sinners. Well, Texas is under water now in some areas. I wonder if Texas has sinned by taking away food stamps for hungry children and fighting Obama care. I hope they don't call Fema. Remember they hate the government. Good Luck Texas.

    November 1, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  15. tarura

    Crowds have signed up the first day, 2 crowds exactly, as 3 people is a crowd.

    What a suck-cess !

    November 1, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  16. king

    the repub campaign against obamacare is strong. lambasted by their media juggernaut that out numbers the dems by vast amount. they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars destroying the best thing America came up with since Roosevelt. they are using small amount of people that are not satisfied with the better plan they would get if they shopped around in in the exchanges to ridicule the law. yet they refuse to look at the overwhelming success stories and potential this law has to vast amount of Americans, and refuse to do anything to lend a helping hand. this president have been operating without the repubs help for the past five years, i wonder how much better it would be if the repubs had lend a helping hand and stop the constant obstruction.

    November 1, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  17. oracle

    Have to wonder ... of those six, how many signed up for Medicaid?

    November 1, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  18. sean

    My point all along has been all along that changing the entire health care system to help at most 15% of the population is an absurd premise. The liberal sheep are going to have a hard time supporting this insanity for the long run...and yes I know they are delusional and will try. LOL

    November 1, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  19. ldean50

    Well this is a lie. I enrolled that many in the first hour in the county that I live in. What ever happened to professional journalism?

    November 1, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  20. Phil in NH

    Maybe they should have linked Obama Care to Facebook. There are certainly a lot more people on Facebook everyday. Then you could see the factual number of "LIKES" on there which would probably be "6" as well.

    November 1, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  21. john brown

    obama is in bed with the insurance companies. Insurance companies are dropping Americans' policies forcing them onto these "no choice" exchanges with you paying much more for stuff you don't need (unless you are a deadbeat subsidized obot). This is criminal.

    November 1, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  22. Freddo

    Obama's staff keeps comparing their early enrollment to Massachusetts ... what they fail to point out is that MA did a managed rollout. Only a small group was allowed to enroll in the first stage, and that's part of the reason there was a tiny initial enrollment.

    Obamacare opened up to everyone on day one – the two rollouts can not be compared.

    November 1, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  23. deek5

    Well we know it wasn't any of Harry Reid's staffers. They're exempt from obamacare. If it's good enough for the American people, it MAY NOT be good enough for politicians and their staffers.

    November 1, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  24. Tom

    The only problem with the logic saying that they knew people would enroll as the deadline gets closer, is that it means that more people would try to enroll at the same time and create a large load on the system. If the system can't handle a small load right now way ahead of the target, why does anyone think it will be able to handle a much bigger load as the deadline approaches?

    November 1, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  25. Mark

    This is flat out wrong and you need to report facts. What is this? Fox News?


    November 1, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
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