House Seeks Greater Transparency As White House Continues to Spin Enrollment Data
With Only 3 Official Enrollment Reports in 17 Weeks, Exchange Information Disclosure Act Demands Greater Transparency
WASHINGTON, DC – Although it has been 17 weeks since the launch of the health law’s enrollment, reliable and complete enrollment data from the Obama administration remains scarce. After a week of questions from the White House press corps, the Department of Health and Human Services just yesterday released its latest round of enrollment figures, this time with some demographic breakdown. Yesterday’s report marks the third release, merely 72 total pages, of enrollment reports. January’s "detailed" report comes in at 29 pages… one page longer than November.
The White House has worked hard to redefine metrics for success previously trumpeted by HHS Secretary Sebelius, going so far as to declare enrollment figures unrelated to the law’s success. Instead, the White House now insists that the mix of people enrolling should matter most. Most important, however, is the answer to the question: "Who’s paid?"
In the ongoing pursuit of greater transparency, the House is poised to vote this week on H.R. 3362, the Exchange Information Disclosure Act, legislation introduced by Energy and Commerce Committee member Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE). This legislation would require the Department of Health and Human Services to deliver accurate, detailed reports on the status of HealthCare.gov and enrollment in the exchanges.
CNN Money reports, "The Obama administration is trumpeting that 6 million people have health coverage thanks to Obamacare. …But the numbers are somewhat misleading." Why? Because these figures include the number of individuals signing up for Medicaid, many of whom were already covered by the Medicaid program and are simply renewing their plans. It’s also unclear how many of those signing up for private plans on the exchanges were some of the millions of Americans whose plans were cancelled because of the president’s broken promise.
"It’s obvious that the Obama administration is desperate to avoid any effort to get the facts," said Terry "What exactly are they so afraid we’ll find if we have real-time transparency?"
"Sadly, it should not take a vote in Congress to get basic information on the health law from the Obama administration," added full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). "Detailed enrollment data should be readily available, but the administration has a history of boasting some figures when it’s to their advantage, while withholding or delaying other figures that may be less flattering but closer to reality. Whether the news is good or bad, it is time for full disclosure and greater transparency."