Just one person was able to sign up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov on the first day of Obamacare open enrollment, according to federal documents released Monday.
Judicial Watch, a nonprofit government watchdog, filed suit against the Obama administration to receive 106 pages of documents relating to the troubled launch of the federal Obamacare exchange.
While on October 1, just one person enrolled, there were 43,208 accounts created. At the end of the day on October 1, Brigid M. Russell, a senior advisor at Obamacare administrator Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, sent a staff email celebrating “2 enrollments!”
“We have our second official FFM [federally-facilitated marketplace] enrollment! The first two Form 834s sent out are to: 1) CareSource in Ohio, 2) BCBS of North Carolina,” Russell wrote.
Congressional staffers attempting to sign up raised the issue of duplicate enrollments — insurers reiterated several weeks ago that incomplete or corrupted enrollment files that force customers to re-enroll are often double-counted, raising even more questions about the real number of paying Obamacare customers.
“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 issuers are assigning unique numbers,” wrote top HHS official Marianne Bowen on October 2. “Turns out there were only 4 complete Direct Enrollment applications that went through, the other 64 were not complete.”
Congress has 24,000 professional staffers, according to Judicial Watch, most of whom were forced to enroll in Obamacare coverage.
For the general public, on the second day of open enrollments, 48 percent of registrations failed on the federal website — which had just 5,000 unique visitors, despite a larger number of page views — likely frustrated customers refreshing nonfunctional web pages repeatedly.
“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,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement. “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.”
“Imagine what would have happened to Obamacare if the American people knew only one person was able to enroll on its first day?” Fitton added. “What other Obamacare failures is President Obama hiding?”
After the Obama administration failed to respond to the nonprofit’s public records request from October 7, 2013, the organization was forced to sue to get the records released.
And then again this past march, Judicial Watch was forced to sue the Obama administration for documents relating to the 834 insurer forms that communicating Obamacare enrollments between the federal government and the exchanges’ insurance companies. That litigation is ongoing.
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