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That the bogus Obamacare enrollment report from House Republicans was a political ploy rather than a real study was obvious even to insurance companies the minute the survey reached them. One told TPM "The survey was so incredibly rigged to produce this result, it was a joke. […] Everyone who saw it knew exactly what the goal was." Even though it was so completely rigged, Republicans just couldn't make it "prove" one of their primary efforts to undermine the law—that it isn't really insuring the previously uninsured.
The survey asked companies for the "number of individuals that were previously uninsured." The problem, according to multiple insurance industry sources, is simple: Most, if not all, insurers haven't asked enrollees if they were previously uninsured. They just don't have the data the GOP wants.
"The Energy and Commerce Committee was asking health plans a question they could not answer," one source, who provided TPM with a copy of the survey, told TPM. "We put N/A in those boxes."
They used their rigged, incomplete, and skewed data to try to prove that only 67 percent of people who'd signed up had actually paid for insurance (Charles Gaba counts the ways it is "full of crap"). But even as well-practiced at lying as they are, they just couldn't pull that data out of thin air. They didn't even mention in the press release about their report that they asked this question. (HealthCare.gov asked the question of the 5.2 million people who signed up there, and while the results aren't entirely dependable, about 87 percent indicated they were or had been previously uninsured.)
It's almost remarkable that the Republicans didn't try to manufacture something to prove that the uninsured weren't actually getting covered, but don't expect them to give up that talking point completely. As if the thing Republicans cared about the most was uninsured people.
Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri May 02, 2014 at 08:13 AM PDT.