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. Mark in CA

    I also applaud the new provisions of preexisting conditions and keeping kids on their parents policies til 26, however this is a HUGE tax on the middle class and a job killer for small business. Wait til they tax all the W2 employees for the health compensation they receive from their employers. It would have been a lot easier to pay for those two provisions with a 1% sales tax for everyone, excepting food and drugs and then heavily tax tobacco, liquor and sugary drinks, which all lead to health consequences. This could have easily been explained to all Americans with the fact that as does the militay, we need to take care of our own. Then again, with Benghazi, who would have believed POTUS?

    November 1, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  2. tom l

    Of course there would be a slow start and that is really irrelevent. What is very relevent is that the administration doesn't share the numbers. That adds to a lack of trust.

    November 1, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  3. Data Driven

    @A True Conservative,

    "As the day wears on we will see more Obama apoligists posting here....It's FAR too early for us to expect them to be up and posting now."

    I'm West Cose, brah. I'm up - 5:57 am. Also, as to the question of posting: well, the Ticker is a pretty buggy website, innit? Perhaps the regulars have been posting here all morning. But it's doubtful that many have gotten through, given CNN's financial incentives to permit only criticism of the law.

    November 1, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. Larry in Houston

    the ACA will be the Achilles heel, for the dems, come 2014, whether they are going to come out winners or not...If this thing drags on, month in, & month out, continuing to have problems & glitches, it's going to be lights out, or shall I say the parties over, for the dems, in 2014.......The ACA is the only thing the republicans have in their tool box....They know it, and they are going to use it, to their full advantage. And, I may add, a very sharp tool, as well, as long as they can keep throwing it, and using it.

    November 1, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  5. Fair is Fair

    Look at the bright side – it's doing better than his green energy initiatives!

    November 1, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  6. johnfwd

    A shame that only 6 could enroll on the first day, but many, many tried to do so but failed. States with more efficient websites fared much better, however, Lest we forget, millions of Americans do not have private health care insurance today and the Affordable Care Act is their best hope for obtaining affordable private insurance.

    November 1, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    So what. Most people just want to browse the products right now, anyway.
    Uh huh... well, I said the very same thing on day 1 and was berated by your "team" as so many of you are calling yourselves now. Glad to see you've come around.

    November 1, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  8. Rudy NYC


    We have the ablility to take a rough poll right here. If you have signed up, tried to sign up, or plan to sign up for the Government Health Care Program include that in your post.
    Sean Hannity has already tried that trick. He had a half a dozen people appear on his show reciting false tales of horror.

    November 1, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  9. hygron50

    And CNN continues to live up to Jon Stewart's ( "The Daily Show") expectations, if they did their homework this would not be a story one month in with Govt Shut Downs and smears. glitches and all. Medicare part D under Bush took time , Medicare took time, Romney Care took time ...but ACA should have been quick and completed by 11:59 pm Oct 1.
    even though by nature people generally take their time when looking over insurance even i wait till a week before my enrollment is due to close. CNN when no news is News...

    November 1, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  10. Wilson


    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.
    That was the plan from the beginning. Nobody with two brain cells to rub together thought obamacare would work as designed, in the real world. To the koolaide drinkers it is a pipedream. It can never work in reality.

    November 1, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Not to worry....When the penalty kicks in for companies, we will all be enrolled in OBAMACARE. That is the final goal of this plan and the reason the penalty for companies is so low. Depending on the company, paying the penalty INSTEAD of offering health coverage will save each company millions of dollars. If I'm a CEO, it's a no-brainer.

    November 1, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Who can you believe? Limbaugh says the site cost $500 million, Hannity says $600 million, and the baggers gleefully report their lies. Brain dead is a bit generous when referring to tea baggers.

    November 1, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  13. Tampa Tim

    Remember how patient the baggers were with a month long unnecessary war that lasted 10 years? One month, and the baggers are going nuts, because not everyone who is eligible has signed up.

    November 1, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Nothing to see here... please move along... it's all over, folks... please just keep moving along...
    Most succinct. I couldn't have summarized your recent posts any better myself.

    November 1, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  15. Sheila

    from an Independent point of view, the Dems probably should take a 2nd look at this huge ACA thing. It's 1/6 of our economy. Maybe they should leave it to the States to do health care for their own people. And the 30 million Obama wants to cover doesn't have to be such a drag on our economy. Those 30 million or whatever the number is, will still be able to go to the E.R. everytime their toe hurts, or get a cold, like they do now.

    November 1, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    Kudos to CNN for making a complete mockery of everything that is Obama. I think we can safely put the George W. Bush talking points to rest. You know ... those points where GOPerville consistently harps on "I hope you didn't say so and so about Bush".

    Nothing ... and I mean nothing ... compares to what is happening in the media to this current President of the United States.

    And, yes. I speak as one who never publicly demeaned Bush while he was in office.

    November 1, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  17. julie de wolff

    Is it possible to set up centers in post offices, hospitals or other areas where one can get info and signup for affordable healthcare plans without having to attack the websites?

    November 1, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  18. fastball

    You know who's laughing at all of this? Insurance companies, that's who.
    They'll just continue to keep their rates high, because nobody else is big enough or organized enough to tell them to bring the rates down. Volume sales generate lower premiums, as they will make money just on the sheer number of policies sold.

    November 1, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  19. 1twinsfan

    These numbers are false. Several of the states that run their own exchanges have reported enrollment numbers in the thousands.

    November 1, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  20. GSMITH

    President Obama is destroying our Health Care System. He must be impeached for fraud among the American People on Obama Disaster Care.

    November 1, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  21. 111Dave111

    So all the government shutdown distraction, while claims that the website is always crashed are FALSE.

    Six people made it all the way to sign up ON THE FIRST DAY!

    November 1, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  22. bdby

    “boast a healthy roll call by the December 15 deadline to enroll”

    These people are delusional thinking with all these problems with the website that during that time there will be a healthy enrollment number. It makes me wonder what these people are smoking. This website is due for a major,major overhall. Since they hired Oracle and Google to fix the problem they will not allow second rate performance be presented to the public. There will be months of testing before show time. Oracle and Google didn’t get to their present number one position by producing second rate products.

    November 1, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  23. Anonymous

    It is a shame the President said "you can keep your health insurance" Tell that to my 35 year old daughter who just got a letter from her carrier that her $265 health plan ends on Dec 31. She now has to pay $385 with high deductible. They should have called Obama Care " The Unafordable Care Act"

    It's a shame our politicians are not being candid with the American People. We should be thankful that we have elections to get rid of the guys and gals that don't look out for the Interests of the little guy. ABB Maryland

    November 1, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  24. SDG

    Obamacare is a disappointment. We were all talked into false benefits and blatant lies and trusted 'for the people'.

    November 1, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  25. EarthWorm

    This is a complete failure considering the amount of money, man hours, etc. put into a website. I really believe a lot of Americans are turned off to the fact that their personal lives have been invaded by the US Govt. Some of my friends I have spoken with tell me they are just going to pay the penalty rather than deal with another govt. system. That doesnt bode well for this law.
    Most told me they are waiting for the 2014 elections in the hope the Republicans will take back the Senate and thus the ACA can be repealed in funding. Still if this was earnings day for the ACA on the business market it would be another company in the history books.

    November 1, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
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