We’ve been throwing cold water on the administration’s so-called exchange “enrollment” figures for months, and for good reason: They’re incomplete to the point of deception.
The Washington Post reported back in November that official tabulations were including anyone who’s “selected a plan,” which is the equivalent of placing an item in a virtual shopping cart online, regardless of whether the check-out and payment steps ever took place. At Kathleen Sebelius’ behest, the House Energy and Commerce Committee contacted every insurer listed as a participant in the federal exchange at Healthcare.gov in order to discern how many of these “sign ups” translated into paid enrollments. The initial batch of information, based on data through mid-April, revealed a paltry payment rate of 67 percent.
When the official totals are finally revisited to include the state exchanges (whose performances are widely varying), and numbers from the late sign-up surge, the final payment statistics will likely shift. Some large insurers testified today that they’ve experienced payment rates in the low-80s range, which is closer to experts’ estimated ballpark prior to the release of the committee’s report — problems with which we highlighted here.
What is almost certainly the case is that the genuine enrollment figure is seven figures lower that the White House-touted one. Phil Kerpen catches yet another inflationary ingredient in HHS’ propaganda brew, the extent of which we don’t yet know: