J. D. Heyes
October 31, 2013
Just how many Americans have enrolled through Healthcare.gov, the federal government’s online health insurance exchange?
Answer: We don’t know.
With today’s Internet and programming technology, finding out how many people have visited, signed up, answered a poll, etc., is child’s play. It’s nothing.
But even something as simple as this is beyond the scope of the federal government’s capability. And yet millions still have faith in President Obama and his administration, no matter how incompetent they are or how much they lie to them.
‘We don’t have reliable data on that question’
As reported by CNSNews:
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius may have some idea how many people have signed up for Obamacare so far, but she says the number is not “reliable” so the administration has decided not to make the information public.
Sebelius also told the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday that she expects the initial enrollment number to be small.
“We do not have any reliable data around enrollment, which is why we haven’t given it to date,” she said in response to a question from U.S. Rep. Lee Terry, Nebraska Republican.
That is simply incredible. To not have any idea how many people have signed up for insurance through the government portal is simply mind-boggling.
But of course, in typical doublespeak, Sebelius spun the government’s ignorance as a plus.
The HHS secretary testified that she met recently with insurers and that one of her “priority” fixes for the broken exchanges is the 834, the document that delivers an individual’s name to the insurance company for plan enrollment.
“I want to give you reliable, confirmed data from every state and from the federal marketplace. We have said that we will do that on a monthly basis, by the middle of the month. You will have that data, but I don’t want to turn over anything that is not confirmed and reliable, and that’s what we’ll do,” she said.
But that data exists, Terry pressed.
“But sir, I would tell you right now, it is not reliable data,” Sebelius said. “According to the insurance companies who are eager to have customers, they are not getting reliable data all the way through the system. It’s one of the real problems that we have.”
She did say that HHS knows 700,000 people so far have actually applied online.
Here’s how it works: Those shopping for insurance on the exchanges are required to fill out an application before actually enrolling in a plan. That means the application number is going to be different than the enrollment figure.
Sebelius also told the congressional panel there were lowered expectations for initial enrollees.
“I think there’s no question that given our flawed launch of healthcare.gov, it will be a very small number,” she said.
Varied, creative ways to say, ‘I don’t know’
Earlier in the day, Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado told C-SPAN Radio, “The administration apparently has made a decision not to disclose the numbers of people who have actually enrolled, except for on a monthly basis. I don’t know why they’ve made that determination, but they’ve told us that as well.”
In testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee a day earlier, the head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Marilyn Tavenner, was asked repeatedly how many people have enrolled. She couldn’t answer either.
“We will not have those numbers available until mid-November,” she kept saying, essentially, over and over again.
Tavenner also refused to say if she knows the enrollment number but is just not telling, CNSNews reported.
If you’re getting the picture that this system is essentially useless, you’re right. But since Obamacare “is the law of the land,” as we are so often told, apparently we are stuck with it.
Oh, and here’s another bit of news. It likely will be December or longer before Healthcare.gov is fully functional.