On the heels of the Gruber scandal, more misinformation has been admitted in regard to Obamacare. Bloomberg has reported that “the Obama administration said it erroneously calculated the number of people with health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, incorrectly adding 380,000 dental subscribers to raise the total above 7 million.”
Health and Human Services clarified the total number of Obamacare plans as 6.7 million, a decrease of about 5-6%. “The new count puts enrollment short of a 2013 estimate by the Congressional Budget Office, adopted last year as a goal by the Obama administration, that 7 million people would be enrolled this year. Federal officials said in September they had 7.3 million people enrolled in coverage through new government-run insurance exchanges. They didn’t distinguish between medical and dental plans, breaking from previous practice without notice.”
Prior to, the administration had separated medical from dental when accounting for enrollment figures. Last May, 8 million persons were reported to have signed up for health plans, while dental enrollments were 1.1 million.
Over time, enrollment dropped for various reasons. As Bloomberg reported, by “September, the numbers became less transparent. The Medicare agency’s administrator, Marilyn Tavenner, released a new enrollment figure, obtained from insurance companies participating in the exchanges: 7.3 million people were “enrolled in the health insurance marketplace coverage,” she said at a hearing by the Republican-led Oversight committee.”
This same blurring of numbers and parsing of words was seen as recently as November 10. Sylvia Burwell, the HHS Secretary announced updated Obamacare numbers: 7.1 million in October, stating, “That’s the number of people currently enrolled and paying in the marketplace.” These numbers also included dental plans, which again was not disclosed until a few days ago.
“The error was brought to light by Republican investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, using data they obtained from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services”, which was admitted by HHS when asked about the data.