Obamacare “sign-ups” have until the minute before midnight tonight to enroll in the Obama administration’s mandatory health care coverage. With the final push on, the White House has applauded its efforts to sign up over 6 million Americans. An estimated 50 million Americans do not carry health insurance coverage.
Marc Thiessen, an opinion writer from the Washington Post, wrote today that “the Obama administration is celebrating that it has achieved its (downwardly revised) goal of signing up more than 6 million Americans for Obamacare by 11:59 p.m. March 31. Mission accomplished!"
Not quite. The administration has not revealed how many of those 6 million people have paid their premiums. If you have not paid, you have not actually ‘enrolled.’ It’s like putting merchandise in your Amazon cart but never clicking ‘buy.’ -- Washington Post
Republican lawmakers have accused the administration of “cooking the books,” reports the NY Post today.
“I don’t think it means anything,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said of the boasting from the Obama administration over meeting its enrollment goal.
“President Obama announced last week that enrollment had topped the 6 million mark, although the government figure does not represent how many people paid for and actually obtained insurance coverage,” writes the Post.
“People want to know the answers to that,” Barrasso said.
In October, when the glitch-plagued Obamacare Web site, HealthCare.gov, was rolled out, few thought the government could reach these so-called robust numbers. Site crashes early on combined with incorrect subsidy calculator results just a few weeks ago bookended a number of other problems.
Last week, Forbes reported that Marilyn Tavenner of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that “more than 6 million Americans have signed up for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces since October 1, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.”
Despite the “good news,” the administration has already lowered the soft-date target goal by one million – bringing the anticipated 7 million down to 6 million.
It sheds little light onto the two questions most analysts are focused on. First, how many of those signing up have paid their first month’s premium, thereby activating coverage? And second: How many of those with coverage were previously uninsured? At this point, we have no definitive answers.