Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) on Sunday dismissed the White House's recent announcement that Obamacare enrollment had reached more than 6 million people, calling it a meaningless figure.But if Barrasso really believes they are "cooking the books," he failed to offer any evidence to substantiate it. As Steve Benen notes, this sort of bluster is reminiscent of the 2012 poll unskewers, except this time around they aren't even attempting to say what they think the "uncooked" numbers are.
"I don't think it means anything. ... I think they're cooking the books on this," said Barrasso on "Fox News Sunday."
The reason is obvious: Despite his claim to the contrary, Barrasso doesn't really believe that the White House is cooking the books. He doesn't believe there's a massive fraud going on, because there isn't. Instead, he believes that Obamacare's growing success poses a serious threat to the Republican Party's political prospects and he's scrambling for any argument he can to get his party through 2014, whether or not it's grounded in reality or consistent with what he's been saying in the past.
Last October, for example, Barrasso complained that Wyoming residents couldn't enroll in Obamacare because HealthCare.gov was having problems. Back then, he thought the website needed to fixed. But now that it's fixed, he's not only claiming that it's fraudulent to claim that people are actually enrolling, he's also claiming that for the people who are enrolling, Obamacare is "meaningless."
But for the millions of people who now have health insurance who couldn't otherwise have gotten it, the Obamacare enrollment surge is neither "cooking the books" nor "meaningless." And if Republicans like Barrasso have their way, these people will have their health insurance taken away from them. To the extent that Obamacare is on the ballot in November, the issue should be that the GOP is rooting against these people.8:49 AM PT: