Administration Continues to Stonewall on Obamacare Exchange Enrollment

Back in May, the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) suddenly stopped issuing monthly reports on enrollment in Obamacare’s exchanges. These reports had been used by the Administration to ramp up the cheer-leading to Obamacare’s “successful” recruiting of 8.1 million people by the end of the first open enrollment on March 31 (or, actually, sometime in mid-April due to omnipresent technical glitches).

In a report subsequently issued for another purpose, HHS (perhaps unwittingly) disclosed that only 2.3 million people were enrolled in private insurance via an Obamacare exchange. The other 8 million of the 10.3 million now considered enrolled are in the category of charity care called Medicaid.

On Halloween, HHS issued a report that looks exactly like the reports that it published through May 1. So, one might reasonably expect that if the Administration could produce a report on May 1 that announced enrollment as of March 31, the next report that it issued on October 31 could announce the numbers enrolled as of September 30.

No such luck.

The Halloween report covers sign ups through June 30. Further, unlike the previous reports, it does not disclose data that HHS uniquely possesses — actual enrollment reported by the Obamacare exchanges. Instead, it simply recycles surveys of estimates of the decrease in the number of uninsured Americans produced by Gallup-Healthways and non-HHS government agencies.

This blog has already discussed these surveys at length. To be clear: Neither private polling firms nor other government agencies possesses the enrollment figures reported from the Obamacare exchanges. Only HHS has those data. And yet HHS continues to bury those data.

Such stonewalling can only serve to jeopardize claims about Obamacare’s “success”. For a more serious analysis of Obamacare’s effect on the uninsured in the first half of 2014, I recommend Edmund J. Haislmaier’s and Drew Gonshowroski’s article examining how many people were put into dependence on Medicaid and how many lost employer-based coverage.

Comments are closed.