Yesterday the White House boldly proclaimed 4.2 million have “enrolled” in Obamacare, in reality those are people who simply chose a plan through the exchange. If we subtract out the 20 percent that means just 3.3 million people have fully enrolled in Obamacare. Their original goal was 7 million by the end of March so they are at less than 50% of their stated goal.
To make matters worse, the insurance companies say they HAVE given this data to the White House, which means Sebelius lied yesterday before Congress (along with countless other times) when she told them they don’t know how many people paid for their plans.
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.
Never mind the fact that the number of young enrollees is far less than what they projected, and they are the key to making this thing work from a financial standpoint.