System Overload: 6 People Signed up for Obamacare on Day 1

There’s a very good reason that no one in any position of authority claims to know the number of Obamacare enrollees thus far. Everyone knew it was because there were so few people enrolling that it was an utter embarrassment. But now we have some official numbers, even though HHS and CMS claim they don’t have any data. They’d rather be seen as ignorant rather than as administrators of a complete and humiliating failure. But it’s worse when you find out they really do have the numbers, and that they’re lying about that so that they don’t have to talk about it in public. I almost feel for them.

CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson reported:

 Early enrollment figures are contained in notes from twice a day war room meetings from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid services after the web site failed on October 1st. They were turned over in response to a document request from the House Oversight Committee. The web site launched on Tuesday. 

Publicly, the government said there were 4.7 million unique visits in the first 24 hours, but at a meeting Wednesday morning, the war room notes say 6 enrollments have occurred so far. They were with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, CareSource, and Health Care Service Corporation. By Wednesday afternoon, enrollments were up to approximately 100. By the end of Wednesday, the notes reflect 248 enrollments nationwide. 

The health care exchanges need to average 39,000 enrollees a day to meet the goal of 7 million by March 1st. The war room notes give a glimpse into some of the reasons customers had problems. Direct enrollment – signing up directly on an insurer’s web site – is not working for any issuers. Experian credit reporting agency is creating confusion with credit check information. Issuer phone numbers are not appearing correctly on the pay now page.

The notes leave no doubt the enrollment figures, which the administration has chosen to keep secret, are available. Statistics coming in say notes from the very first meeting, the morning of October 2nd, contractor QSSI has a daily dash board create the every night. But 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.

Obamacare isn’t bad just because its rollout has been a disaster or that so few people have signed up thus far. Those things are notable and humorous, but conservatives should remain steadfast in their goal to repeal the monstrosity of a bill, whether the website is fixed or not, and whether enrollment picks up or not.