Low ACA Enrollment Numbers Confirmed

By CBS News

Published 11/01 2013 04:58AM

Updated 11/01 2013 05:00AM

WASHINGTON, DC -- We might be getting our best idea yet as to why the government won't release the early enrollment figures for Healthcare.gov. 

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 October first.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.
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 Healthcare 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 seven million by March 1. The "War Room" notes give a glimpse into some of the reasons customers had problems.

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 October 2. Contractor "QSSI has a daily dashboard created every night."
But head of CMS Marilyn Tavenner wouldn't disclose the figures when Dave Camp, chair of the House Ways & Means Committee, asked earlier this week.

Camp: "How do you not now how many people enrolled?"
Tavenner:  "Chairman Camp, I will not have those numbers until mid November."

Health and Human Services tells CBS News it's in no position to confirm or discuss enrollment figures because it doesn't have any. But a spokesman said enrollment was always expected to start slow and then skyrocket as the deadline approaches.

(Sharyl Atikkson, CBS News)

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