Administration Withholds Obamacare Enrollment Data

Tuesday, 01 Oct 2013 10:15 PM

By Cathy Burke

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The Obama administration said it wouldn't release any data on how many people enrolled Tuesday, the first day of the embattled healthcare reform program — but an indication of volume trickled in from individual states.

"We're not releasing that information yet," Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, said of the enrollment volume, The Daily Caller reported.

"We will be releasing enrollment statistics regularly, but we can confirm that people have enrolled both through the state marketplace and the federally facilitated marketplace," Tavenner said.

Urgent: Do You Support Sen. Ted Cruz's Efforts to Defund Obamacare? Vote Here.

Julie Bataille, director of the CMS' office of communications, told The Daily Caller that data is still being processed.

"I would just point to historical experience getting data and what we have seen with other implementation efforts over time," Bataille said. "And we know that it takes some time to pull accurate data and information together, so we will be able to do that for you as soon as we can, and we'll make sure we let you know what that schedule will be."

There was a hint of the volume, however, from some states, USA Today reported.

The newspaper said 24 people had enrolled in the Connecticut exchange by noon Tuesday, while an exchange in Kentucky had processed nearly 1,000.

"Certainly states can report what they want. These are state-based exchanges, and some have reported early enrollment numbers. We have just decided not to release that yet," Tavenner said.

"The system is ready ... consumers are having success, and we are going to move forward," Bataille insisted.

According to CMS, more than 2.8 million people have visited healthcare.gov since midnight. Tavenner said more than 81,000 calls had been logged.

"We're in a marathon, not a sprint," she said.

In its breakdown, USA Today reported that:
  • In Connecticut, Jason Madrak, spokesman for the state's exchange, said the exchange had 11,000 visitors, its first customer at 9:30 a.m. and 24 by noon;
  • In Florida, Blue Cross and Blue Shield added five brick and mortar sales centers, bringing the statewide total to 16, and doubled the size of its direct sales force. In Estero, in Southwest Florida, Florida Blue Center Director Meredith Viskovic estimated morning visitor traffic was up by 3 percent to 4 percent;
  • In Kentucky, the state's Kynect website, which opened after midnight Tuesday, had 24,000 visitors and had processed nearly 1,000 applications by 9:30 a.m., with Louisville's Family Health Centers taking in more than 2,500 calls by early afternoon;
  • In Maryland, Maryland Health Benefit Exchange spokeswoman Danielle Davis said about 90,000 people had visited the site and crashed it;
  • In New Mexico, the state's SHOP site for small businesses enrolled 29 businesses within the first 45 minutes the exchange was open;
  • In New York, reports on Twitter cited 2 million visitors in the first 90 minutes that nystateofhealth.ny.gov was open for business.
Urgent: Do You Support Sen. Ted Cruz's Efforts to Defund Obamacare? Vote Here.


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