The Politico writes today about the games the White House continues to play on the issue of “sign ups” vs. “paid enrollments” on Obamacare:
The White House insists it doesn’t know how many people are fully enrolled in Obamacare, but insurers say they’ve handed over enough data to show that the sign-up numbers are not as rosy as federal officials say.
The latest administration figures show that 4.2 million people have selected health plans in the new insurance markets. Insurance industry officials at four of the big national health plans tell POLITICO that about 15 to 20 percent of people who have signed up have not yet paid their first monthly premium — the final step to get coverage.
And they’ve told the White House that, too, insurance industry officials say.
“They have a lot more information than they’re letting on,” one industry source said of the Obama administration. “They have real hard data about the percent that have paid … If they have not processed those yet and compiled the data, that is a choice they are making. But they have that data now.”
Federal officials say they count sign-ups — people who select plans on HealthCare.gov or in state exchanges — because they can’t yet rely on the insurers’ figures. They say the industry reports are not comprehensive, and they change month to month.
“I can’t tell you because I don’t know that,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday when Republicans asked about the number of paying Obamacare customers during a hearing on Capitol Hill. “We don’t collect it.”
The dispute emerges as the administration is trying to convey a sense of enthusiasm and momentum ahead of a March 31 deadline to enroll in Affordable Care Act exchanges. But unless the current pace doubles, the administration won’t hit its target of 6 million people — a goal that was already scaled back from 7 million after last October’s messy rollout of HealthCare.gov.
But the hill to climb may be even steeper than the White House acknowledges. Once the premium payment rate is factored in, the actual count of people who now have health coverage under the president’s health law could be closer to 3 million than 4 million. The insurance exchanges may still work with fewer people — but the political narrative is that the controversial health law is again falling short.
And the “political narrative” here is what this is all about, folks. It’s never been about being truthful about paid enrollments into the so-called “Affordable Care Act.” Quite frankly, it’s never been about facts – period – when it comes to Obamacare. I don’t think there’s been a single number or other key point about this law the administration and its faithful Democrat supporters in Congress have made since the bill was crafted that hasn’t been proven at a later date to be grossly misleading or outright false (and deliberately so at that).
The fact that this is a crucial election year for the President in terms of his agenda going forward for the last two years of his Presidency just makes the misstatements and lies (and delays) that much more frequent – and transparent (but not in the way the administration would define “transparency”, of course). The left are desperate to put the best positive spin on a monstrosity of a law that has grown in its unpopularity since its passage, at a time when its most vulnerable incumbents like Senator Hagan here in NC struggle to find ways to make excuses for why so many of the promises made about Obamacare never came true.
Is it November yet?