Skip to main content

U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (L) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (R) stand together at a news conference at the Republican National Committee offices on Capitol Hill in Washington October 23, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Just when you think House Republicans might be becoming a little less obsessed with Obamacare, they go full Benghazi on it, with a "report" that challenges the administration's—and the health insurers—numbers on enrollments. Yes, it's all a big conspiracy to make it look like people want health insurance. The gist of the Republicans' "unskewing" is that only 67 percent of people have paid their first premium, so instead of 8 million enrollments, there'd be something like 5.5 million. Except that it's a major distortion of the facts.
The committee staff got their information directly from insurers, but it’s only valid up through April 15. As experts quickly pointed out, that’s too early to get an accurate sense of the payup rate.

Remember, open enrollment officially ended on March 31. And, thanks to the Administration’s extensions, people were still signing up well into April. At the time the Committee requested the information, many of these people would have just received their first invoices for payment. Payment wouldn’t have been due until the end of the month—in other words, Wednesday. Some wouldn't owe first payments until the first of June, because that's when their insurance starts.

And people were signing up in droves at the end of the enrollment period, about 4 million of them in March and the beginning of April. The insurance companies themselves—you know, where the premiums are being billed and paid—contradict the 67 percent estimate in this "report." A WellPoint executive says 90 percent of enrollees have paid, and the CEO of American Health Insurance Plans, the industry's lobbying organization, says that overall about 85 percent of people have paid up. In fact, as Jonathon Cohn points out, the insurers specifically warned the staff of the committee that the data they were providing for the report was incomplete.

That's not the only glaring deception in the report, but perhaps the most brazen. Charles Gaba (Daily Kos's own Brainwrap), who is the number cruncher for Obamacare enrollments, counts myriad ways in which this report is "full of crap."

But it might not be about the enrollment numbers at all, TPM's Dylan Scott argues.

As soon as White House officials started calling the Energy and Commerce report into question, they leapt: How could the White House know, unless it had its own data that it hadn't released?

One might wonder as if that was the intention all along.

This might just be all about trying to prove that the administration is hiding information, just like BENGHAZI!!!! Because they really don't have anything else.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu May 01, 2014 at 08:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site