As Administration Runs From Enrollment Numbers, House Schedules Vote to Demand Transparency
Despite numerous hearings, letters, and public requests for answers and transparency, the administration has been short on details throughout the implementation of the health care law. When the administration did finally release enrollment figures, they failed to provide reliable data. Who has actually, fully, successfully enrolled in a health plan and paid the first month’s premium, ensuring coverage? What demographics of individuals are enrolling in plans? Despite the administration’s attempt to escape these facts, these are the figures that will help define the success of the law.
Full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) recently commented, “If enrolling people in health plans on the exchanges does not define success, what does? The fact that the administration is backing away from these measures raises even more questions about what the true picture of enrollment looks like. It’s well past time the administration be transparent and upfront with the American people.” This is why the House will vote on Friday on H.R. 3362, the Exchange Information Disclosure Act. This legislation, introduced by Energy and Commerce Committee member Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), would require HHS to provide the American people and Congress weekly reports on the status of HealthCare.gov.
January 7, 2013
Obamacare Enrollment Figures Still Far Short of Administration’s Own Goal
While the Obama administration is congratulating itself for signing up 2.1 million people in private plans on state and federal health care exchanges, some analysts say it’s a little early to uncork the champagne.
Robert Laszewski of Health Policy and Strategy Associates says, “ObamaCare has proven that it can enroll the sick people. To only have 2 million people enrolled out of 20 million uninsured, plus all the canceled policies, indicates you only got a very small group of people enrolled.”
That’s not even enough, he and others argue, to make up for the policies that were canceled because they didn’t meet the requirements of ObamaCare.
Even the 2.1 million signed up through the end of December 2013 is far short of the administration’s own goal of more than 3.3 million by the end of December – a number projected last September by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services or CMS.
And that figure was just a stepping stone to the eventual goal of 7 million by the end of March.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told NBC in an interview last September, “Well, I think success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014.”
But now that the administration appears to be falling short, other officials are playing down the 7 million target, sometimes even using exactly the same words.
Gene Sperling, director of Obama’s National Economic Council, argued on “Meet the Press” Sunday that “first of all, there is no magic number. The key is to enroll as many people, have an exchange that`s working….”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that “it’s important to understand that it is not – that there’s not some magic number – 6,999,999, and the system collapses – one more than that, and it functions perfectly.”
Carney said what is more important than total numbers is who is signing up.
“In terms of how effective the marketplaces function, the makeup, the mix of the population that enrolls is more important that the total number,” he said. …
Read the complete piece online here.