Obamacare enrollment numbers are out and it doesn’t look good for the White House. According to a report released on Thursday night, only six people signed up on October 1, when healthcare.gov went live.
For the whole month of October, law makers and reporters have been asking White House officials how many people have enrolled in the exchanges offered by the Affordable Care Act, but no one seems to have a specific figure to share with the public. Until now.
CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson has uncovered documents which have not been seen before.
Attkisson says the Obamacare enrollment numbers are included in notes from “war room” meetings of the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid services, after the web site failed on October 1st.
The documents were turned over after Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee and opponent of Obamacare, requested to see them in the wake of the website’s failure.
Obama officials said the website received 4.7 million unique visits in the first 24 hours, but at the war room meeting the figure was much, much lower. Only six people had signed on.
The following day, 100 people enrolled and on Thursday, October 3, 248 individuals had joined Obamacare.
According to CBS, the war room meetings shed light into problems users were experiencing when logging on to the Obamacare website Healthcare.gov.
The notes from the war room clearly indicate the low number of enrollees into the Affordable Care Act exhange, which government officials have chosen not to share with the public.
The statistics were obtained from the very first meeting on the morning of October 2nd from contractor QSSI, which had a daily dash board they created to keep track of enrollment numbers.
The head of CMS, Marilyn Tavenner, wouldn’t disclose the figures, when Dave Camp, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, asked earlier this week during a hearing into the failure of the launching of the Obamacare website:
“Do you not know how many people have enrolled?”
To which Tavenner responded, she will have numbers available in mid-November.
Health and Human Services (HHS) today told CBS it’s in no position to confirm or discuss enrollment figures because it doesn’t have any.
HHS spokesperson Joanne Peters suggested that Obamacare enrollment was expected to start very slowly and then skyrocket as the deadline approaches.
“We do not have any reliable data around enrollment, which is why we haven’t given it to date,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told lawmakers on Wednesday.
“These appear to be notes, they do not include official enrollment statistics,” Peters said of the documents Issa’s panel released.
“As the secretary (Sebelius) said before Congress, we are focused on providing reliable and accurate information and we do not have that at this time (…) We have always anticipated that the pace of enrollment will increase throughout the enrollment period.”
In order for the system to work, Obamacare enrollment needs to average over 39,000 enrollees a day to meet the goal of 7 million by March 1st.