Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday she refutes the argument that the Obama administration ever said they would have 7 million Obamacare enrollments by March 31, 2014.
She claims she “volunteered” that number last year. Sebelius added, "First of all, 7 million was not the administration. That was a CBO, Congressional Budget Office prediction when the bill was first signed,” being interviewed by The Huffington Post.
"I'm not quite sure where they even got their numbers. Their numbers are all over the board, and the vice president has looked and said it may be closer to 5 to 6."
Her comments go in a completely different direction than her quotes for NBC News one day before Obamacare’s disastrous launch last September. At that time she used the word "success" describing her opinion there would be 7 million Americans enrolled in the Obamacare exchanges by the end of March.
Her direct quote was, "I think success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014." She was speaking on the record to NBC's Nancy Snyderman on September 30, 2013.
As far back as June, 2013, she told reporters, ”We’re hopeful 7 million is a realistic target."
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer felt compelled to criticize Sebelius Tuesday while speaking on Fox News' "Special Report with Bret Baier."
As Krauthammer put it, "Of course, she was the one that said it, among others. You know, it's an old rule, 'say the truth, it's easier to memorize.'"
Sebelius is not the first administration member to misquote Obamacare projections. White House healthcare policy adviser Phil Schiliro said in December that attracting 7 million enrollees to Obamacare by March “was never the administration's goal. That figure was put out by the Congressional Budget Office in March, and was never our target number," he told NBC News at the time.
Americans have grown cynical of Obamacare numbers at a time many Democrats are seeking political credibility for their November races.
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