WASHINGTON — It was widely reported that the Obamacare rollout was a disaster, but it turns out, the calamity was far worse than thought.
The Obama administration has now been forced to reveal that the Obamacare multimillion-dollar website received only one enrollment on its first day of operation.
That means, the federal health insurance website was able to process the application of just one single person on Oct. 1, 2013.
Also, the website failed to register a whopping 48 percent of those who applied, on its second day.
That information was disclosed in a 106-page document Judicial Watch obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, by filing Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, lawsuit against HHS on Nov. 25, 2013.
“Once again, Judicial Watch is able to get information through FOIA that no one else had gotten – the specifics about the unmitigated failure of the Obamacare healthcare.gov collapse,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“The Obama administration tried to cover this up, Congress failed to follow through, but we managed to get the truth about the $667 billion Obamacare website,” added Fitton.
“Imagine what would have happened to Obamacare if the American people knew only one person was able to enroll on its first day. What other Obamacare failures is President Obama hiding?”
The administration even admitted that just 248 people enrolled for health care on the website in the first few days of operation.
Information uncovered by Judicial Watch indicates problems with the website were even worse:
- On Oct. 1, there were 43,208 accounts created and one enrollment.
- As of Oct. 31, 2013, there were 1,319,425 accounts created nationwide – but only 30,512 actual enrollments in Obamacare.
- On Oct. 1, 2013, at the end of the first day (4:30), the senior adviser at Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Brigid M. Russell, sent out an email to her staff with a subject line celebrating “2 enrollments!” The body of the email read: “We have our second official FFM enrollment! The first two Form 834s sent out are to: 1) CareSource in Ohio, 2) BCBS of North Carolina.
- Official figures contained in the HHS report provide conflicting figures as to the number of enrollments. Federally Facilitated Marketplace, or FFM, statistics show 23,259 cumulative to-date applications submitted as of Oct. 2, 2013, and 286 completed plan selections. Earlier numbers show 356 enrollments created as of 7 p.m. on Oct. 2, 2013, that were completed with Form 834s sent.
- An Oct. 2, 2013, email from HHS Special Assistant Marianne Bowen indicated serious problems with congressional enrollments: “The Congressional issue (68 attempts for Direct enrollment) was an issue stemming from incomplete applications being sent through (started, not finished, sent anyway) and the way the issuers are assigning unique numbers. Turns out there were only 4 complete Direct Enrollment applications that went through, the other 64 were not complete.” (Congress has approximately 24,000 professional staffers.)
- On Oct. 2, 2013, the Obamacare website had 70,000 page views but only 5,000 were unique visitors, and 48 percent of registrations failed. The large number of page views may have been the result of visitors repeatedly hitting the “refresh” button due to long waiting times.
On April 17, 2014, President Obama announced that eight million people had signed up for health insurance on Affordable Healthcare Act exchanges.
Judicial Watch said that figure may be substantially over-inflated.
The group cites testimony in May by the America’s Health Insurance Plans Association before the House Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight, stating, “Because of the challenges that surfaced with the launch of the Exchanges in October 2013, some consumers were advised to create a new account and enroll again. As a result, insurers have many duplicate enrollments in their system for which they never received any payment.”