The Obama administration acknowledged Thursday it mistakenly included up to 400,000 dental plans in the 7.1-million enrollment figure it touted before Obamacare’s second round, a move that nudged them above congressional budget estimates for participation in the contentious overhaul.
Republican investigators on the House oversight committee calculated the health enrollment total to be 6.7 million, based on data from the Obama administration.
The revelation forced the Health and Human Services Department to admit to a notable error at a time when Republicans have accused Democratic supporters of the 2010 law as less than forthcoming with the public.
“This mistake was unacceptable. I will be communicating that clearly throughout the department,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in Facebook chat. “While we understand some will be skeptical, our clarity that this is [a] mistake and the fact that we have quickly corrected the numbers should give people confidence. It is important to continue to focus on the fact that millions of Americans are getting affordable health care.”
The agency still believes that marketplace enrollment will total 9.1 million in 2015.