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Screenshot from HHS billboard marketing health insurance exchanges
It worked.
The Republican House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a rather unadvisable hearing Wednesday, where things might just get a little bit awkward for them. See, they've invited a bunch of CEOs of health insurance companies to testify about what a disaster Obamacare enrollments have been, apparently to back up the fully debunked "report" they issued last week saying that only 67 percent of people who had enrolled in Obamacare had paid their first premiums. You'll remember that the biggest problem in their report was their cutoff day for premium payments being April 15, when the last bunch of enrollees in March wouldn't have payments due until potentially the end of May.

If Republicans are hoping against hope that they'll hear Obamacare is failing and no one is paying their premiums, they'll be sorely disappointed.

As many as 90 percent of WellPoint customers have paid their first premium by its due date, according to testimony the company prepared for a congressional hearing today. For Aetna, the payment is in the "low to mid-80 percent range," the company said in its own testimony. Health Care Service Corp., which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in five states including Texas, said that number is at least 83 percent. […]

"What you have here is very solid first year enrollment, no matter how you slice it," Dan Mendelson, president of Avalere Health, a Washington consulting firm, said in a phone interview. "This thing is, at this point, well entrenched." […]

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee invited insurers to testify on enrollment after publishing a report last week claiming only two-thirds of people who signed up had paid their first premium.

"That was just foolishness on the part of the committee to even publish that number because it was completely out of context," Bob Laszewski, an insurance industry consultant in Alexandria, Virginia, said in a phone interview.

When did foolishness ever stop Republicans from trying to score a political point? Certainly not when it comes to Obamacare, which they are still firmly convinced will be a total failure because it just has to be because they hate it. They're not going to let a little thing like facts convince them otherwise.

They are, however, not going to be able to make much more political hay out of it, or prove that there's some grand conspiracy on the part of President Obama and the insurance companies to make it look like the law is a success. That's really going to be the case if Charles Gaba's prediction that 93 percent of enrollees will pay up proves true. Which means it's going to be all Benghazi all the time now.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed May 07, 2014 at 08:22 AM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (46+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Wed May 07, 2014 at 08:22:33 AM PDT

  •  Another talking point has a funeral. (14+ / 0-)

    Not that the facts will stop Fox News and idiots like Priebus from continuing to lie.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Wed May 07, 2014 at 08:24:50 AM PDT

    •  1. Fox lies. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SingularExistence, Bob Johnson

      2. Waits for the lie to propagate.  

      3. Their viewers let the lie soak into their "brains."

      4. The truth comes out.

      5. Fox refuses to report it.

      6. Lie becomes fact.

      That's how the bubble has worked for well over a decade.

      "Republicans are shameless dicks. No, that’s not fair. Republican politicians are shameless dicks." - Al Franken

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:28:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's one more interesting statistic (6+ / 0-)

    Price the GOP will pay for lying to the country on this matter: 0

    They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. -- Brian Fantana

    by IndyScott on Wed May 07, 2014 at 09:44:29 AM PDT

    •  Ultra Right wing site Hot Air argues one reason (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PorridgeGun, shoeless

      House GOP lied about 67% is to get the word out before the truth reaches the voters.

      Two theories for why the committee rushed this out. Theory one: Stupidity. If and when the final payment numbers are released and it’s confirmed that 10-20 percent of new enrollees, a.k.a. 800,000 to 1.6 million people, will be tossed from the rolls, the White House now has some handy spin. “Once again Republicans underestimated ObamaCare,” they’ll say. “They thought we’d top out at 67 percent payment and we made it to 80 percent. Another victory!” Always a bad idea to lower expectations for your opponent. Theory two: Cynicism. Maybe the committee suspects (correctly) that most people don’t follow the news consistently but get it in bits and pieces at irregular times, especially when it comes to a subject as complex and long-running as ObamaCare. As such, they may have decided to float the 67 percent figure knowing/assuming it was bogus but confident that some low-information voters would notice it and conclude that O-Care was underperforming in yet another metric. Some of those voters will miss today’s news and the White House crowing to come about the correct figure and remain convinced that fully a third of new enrollees haven’t paid.

      Some of the commenters are absolutely nutty and don't even know how the insurance premium billing works. They think it is like Amazon and you pay right there with your credit card. Others think insurance companies are lying.

      I’ve always wondered about this, because usually to complete the sign up, I’ve found you have to either enter your checking account info or a credit card number–which would allow them to automatically pull your payments.

      HakerA on May 7, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      Ins. companies have to say anything, to get subsidized.

      I hope they all choke, along with obama and all who voted for this monstrosity of the land.

      The mandate is dead….obama will move it to 2017, one step at a time.

      The 90% paymenets are comprised of Medicaid, Medicare and other subsidies.

      Work harder, fools.

      If you’re still a free American do NOT comply with obama’care’.

      Schadenfreude on May 7, 2014 at 12:45 PM

      Hagen, Landriue, Pryor and Begich must go.

      Udall too.

      Heh, OR looks good to be taken by a doctor lady.

      Schadenfreude on May 7, 2014 at 12:46 PM

      But wait, you say. The committee’s numbers were based on information they got from insurers. How can insurers now be claiming 80-90 percent payment when they told the committee it was 67 percent?

      …no pressure?…………. of course not!…they didn’t have a pen…and a phone?…

      KOOLAID2 on May 7, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    •  Fortunately this turns out not to be the case (0+ / 0-)

      They lose millions of their young people every year, and even a few of their candidates and elected officials.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Wed May 07, 2014 at 11:38:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone got a link to the hearing? (5+ / 0-)

    I have my popcorn!

  •  these idiots created so many contradictory (7+ / 0-)

    messages they've actually strengthened the systematic defense for having Obamacare and crippled their attempts to loot the system via so-called personal accounts which would help loot the Social Security System

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Wed May 07, 2014 at 09:47:49 AM PDT

  •  FOX News and the GOP know: (4+ / 0-)

    Propaganda pays--and it WORKS. Foolishness nothwithstanding. The Nazis began the work on a national and worldwide scale, and today the Republicans have PERFECTED it.

    There is no talking nearly all 'conservatives' out of the fantasy world this propaganda has built. They will go to their graves believing lie after lie. I believe in God, and I'm a Christian, and I weep to think of so many souls polluted by so many sins against the Ninth Commandment, 24/7/365.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Wed May 07, 2014 at 09:48:26 AM PDT

  •  FOX: 83% is a lot less than 2/3. (nt) (11+ / 0-)

    Think about the baby Jesus. Up in that tower, letting His hair down so that the three wise men could climb up and spin the dreidle and see if there's six more weeks of winter. -- Will and Grace

    by Rikon Snow on Wed May 07, 2014 at 09:48:51 AM PDT

  •  While I am certain... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly, shoeless

    ...that the purpose of this hearing is not to adjust course, they are missing the boat on what might be their only way out.

    Staging Congressional hearings at which Obamacare stakeholders can air its successes and then grudgingly accepting those successes as fact would be inordinately painful for them at first, but would provide them at least enough cover to abandon repeal as a political priority. It would be a better long term tack than the one they're currently on, but nobody in the GOP thinks long term anymore, so yeah, no sense getting excited about cooler heads prevailing.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

    by The Termite on Wed May 07, 2014 at 09:50:54 AM PDT

    •  Except as we have seen in other fake hearings (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      imicon, shoeless, dewtx

      they will not allow answers that don't follow their narrative. They will cut people off claiming that they are not answering the question. They will stop people from talking as soon as they see a usable talking point and then that talking point will be part of the CW before anyone has a chance to show how dishonest it is.

      And once again the SCLM will be complicit.

      Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

      by Mike S on Wed May 07, 2014 at 09:55:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kangaroo courts do not play well... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shoeless, dewtx

        ...with anybody who isn't already in the tank.

        That stunt that Issa pulled with Elijah Cummings might have been tasty theatre for RWNJs but it played horribly in the broader electorate.

        I'm not saying they won't do it, but I am saying bring it on.

        Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

        by The Termite on Wed May 07, 2014 at 09:58:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Remember the Unpaid part is only partial (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly, shoeless, dewtx

    when a family earns a subsidy from the government that goes directly to the insurance company.  

    so, if a policy costs $500 a month, with $300 monthly in subsidy and $200 from the family, it's only the $200 that is late.  

    While an insurance company may drop people for nonpayment of their share, the pressure to do so is less than it would be if the family had to pay the whole thing.  they are still getting something towards the cost of coverage.  AND if the family makes no claims, the insurance company keeps the subsidy paid portion with no associated costs (this is called "profit")

  •  Rethugs Don't Let Facts, TRUTH, or Reality Get In (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, dewtx

    their way.

    The Party of Stupid & Offensive members should be working on farms as manure spreaders.

    (Obamacare = Romneycare = Ultraconservative Heritage Foundation health care reform, but you'd NEVER know it by the way they treat the president on his success in health care reform for the formerly uninsurable.)

  •  They'll pre-screen their "experts"... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, dewtx

    and they will regurgitate exactly what the GOP wants to hear, on cue. Real experts will contradict them, in the "liberal MSM", but these facts will not permeate the right wing bubble of bullshit.
    Political mudslinging is not new in Washington, but these guys have taken it to a maniacal level. My hope is that they reach critical mass, and even their useful idiots 'see the light."

  •  More people getting well and voting Democratic... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, shoeless, dewtx

    is destroying the America that Republicans love.

    Yeah, I'm having trouble spotting the downside of this. :)

  •  They're lovin' it (Obamacare) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, shoeless, dewtx

    If you look at health insurance company stocks over the past year, "they're lovin' it." Here's just a few - Aetna, Humana, Wellpoint, Cigna ... they're all way up. I have no doubt the GOP will spin that into a "trainwreck" somehow but the stock values suggest otherwise.

    Ginny Mayer, Ph.D. Democrat CA State Senate Candidate - SD-35 (Orange County)

    by Ginny Mayer on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:06:57 AM PDT

  •  Health Insurance "No Pay Rate"10% Is Normal nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tuffie, shoeless, dewtx

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:13:35 AM PDT

  •  People that waited til the last minute to sign-up, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    are now waiting to pay....who could've guess that? It's like they were never young before.

  •  And others are convinced the government is like... (0+ / 0-)

    their own personal situation since they have to live within their means so should the government, hence deficit spending is a no-no.  Then we remind them about their house payment, credit card payment on which the balance is carried from month to month, the car payment and of course the student loan payment for sis and junior.  OPPS!!!!

  •  so, here's the betting pool question: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    How does the GOP attempt to call the insurance companies liars, when they say 90% have paid their premiums?

    Why would the companies who WANT their members to pay their damn premiums, lie about how many they expect to pay?

    "Republicans are shameless dicks. No, that’s not fair. Republican politicians are shameless dicks." - Al Franken

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:26:22 AM PDT

  •  As I remember, someone on another blog pointed (0+ / 0-)

    out that False Noise IS NOT, by its own statement in a Court action, a "News Station".  Rather, it is "Entertainment" - by its own claim, and definition - to avoid lawsuits for libel, slander, and the like.

    Now, IF this actually be the case, it says several things about both the Republican Party and whatever the staff members, and "entertainers", on False Noise are doing.  Which, first of all, throws a lot of light on the average Republican, who is "entertained" by such juvenile foolishness, and wastes time tuning to it on his TV; and, secondly, the level of "entertainers" on False Noise itself, who would be yanked off the stage in a hurry by even old vaudeville.

    But then again, there really hasn't been much else to say about the I.Q. level of the average Teabaghead/Republican for decades.  And the quality of "entertainer/entertainment", on False Noise has never worth wasting time on to begin with.

    Oh!  That's right!  I forgot!  We are talking about a Republican Congressional Committee here.  

    Same difference!

    Reminds me of a passage from Scripture:  "Let the dead bury the dead".

  •  Obamacare... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Doesn't matter if you call it the ACA or Obamacare, this is what the rabid Right sees when they hear any term that calls it to mind:

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