In a Thursday report on “CBS Evening News,” network investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson revealed internal government documents showing that only six people signed up on the day that HealthCare.gov launched.
High-ranking members of President Barack Obama’s Health and Human Services Department have been closed-lipped about the enrollment figures upon the launch of Obamacare earlier this month, saying that they do not have reliable numbers to give to the public.
But, Attkisson reported, “The notes leave no doubt that the enrollment figures, which the administration has chosen to keep secret, are available.”
According to Attkisson, the numbers were included in notes recorded in meetings at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
“Early enrollment figures are contained in notes from twice-a-day war room meetings convened within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services after the website failed on Oct. 1,” Attkisson said. “They were turned over in response to a document request from the House Oversight Committee. The website 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 six enrollments have occurred so far. They were with Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina and Kansas City, 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 1.”
Those notes also included some of the problems with the website’s functionality.
“The war room notes give a glimpse into some of the reasons customers had problems,” Attkisson continued. “Direct enrollment, signing up directly on an insurer’s website, 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 that 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 Oct. 2, ‘contractor QSSI has a daily dashboard created 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.”
Health and Human Services officials declined to discuss the revelations with Attkisson.
“Health and Human Services today told us it’s in no position to confirm or discuss enrollment figures because it doesn’t have any,” Attkisson added. “A spokesman suggested enrollment was always expected to start very slowly and then skyrocket as the deadline approaches.”