From eight million to seven million now to 6.6 million, the actual numbers of people who enrolled in ObamaCare continue to fall exposing that the Administration has been keeping the true numbers under wraps.
Late last week, the Department of Health and Human Services said they made a mistake in how ObamaCare enrollments were calculated by including almost 400,000 dental plans in the figures for medical plans. Those 380,000 additions put the Administration over the top and allowed them to claim that they had met Congressional Budget Office (CBO) target of 7 million people. Doesn’t that sound just a bit convenient?
If you remember, the President defiantly announced that ObamaCare had hit 8 million enrollments last spring (following his arbitrary extension of the April 30 deadline). Since then attrition due to non-payment of plans, lack of has dialed back those numbers by over 1 million. Add to that the inclusion of the dental plans which muddied the numbers.
It’s not only embarrassing for the Administration but it’s indicative of the obscure, duplicitous way that leaders in the Administration have operated in advancing the President’s policies.
The accurate number with full health-care plans is 6.7 million as of Oct. 15, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed today, saying the U.S. won’t include dental plans in future reports.
“The mistake we made is unacceptable,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said on her verified Twitter account. “I will be communicating that clearly throughout the department.”
The error was brought to light by Republican investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, using data they obtained from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The administration had supplied information about dental plans separately in earlier disclosures. In May, the government reported that 8 million were signed up for health plans and 1.1 million were in dental coverage.
Then in September, the numbers became less transparent. The Medicare agency’s administrator, Marilyn Tavenner, released a new enrollment figure, obtained from insurance companies participating in the exchanges: 7.3 million people were “enrolled in the health insurance marketplace coverage,” she said at a hearing by the Republican-led Oversight committee.
“Instead of offering the public an accurate accounting, the administration engaged in an effort to obscure and downplay the number of dropouts,” Issa said.
What’s especially odious is that, we have to question whether this is a true error or an intentional deception of the American public to secure support and attract enrollees. After the woeful rollout and heading into the election season, the Administration and Democratic colleagues needed ObamaCare to not be a big flop. It’s no surprise then that they may have made an “error” to inflate the numbers and then six months later quietly admit the mistake after the election and when no one is paying attention.
Prior to this announcement, Grubergate has been the biggest exposure of the intentional lack of transparency behind the creation and passage of ObamaCare. Democrats are now even distancing themselves from the way in which the law was passed.
It’s an unfortunate pattern with what was supposed to be the most transparent Administration of our age, especially using technology.