In its editorial “Juking the Obamacare stats,” the Wall Street Journal exposes the Obama administration’s efforts to suppress the relevant analytics on the sign-up numbers circulated by the White House to make the case that everything is beautiful. Referring to the 364,682 who are said to have signed up for a plan on a state or federal exchange, the Journal writes:
HHS is reporting how many people “selected” a plan on the exchange, not how many people have actually enrolled in a plan with an insurance company by paying the first month’s premium, which is how the private insurance industry defines enrollment. HHS has made up its own standard.
Insurers know that the hardest part of doing business in the individual market is getting customers to write a check. People are accustomed these days to automatic payroll deductions and the unseen lost wages of employer-sponsored insurance. Many Americans may enroll on the exchange but then fail to pay once they see monthly costs that could range from the equivalent of a cellphone bill if they qualify for subsidies (President Obama’s favorite comparison) to premiums that can exceed $1,000 or huge deductibles for the unlucky who must overpay to finance the insurance of others.
HHS also hasn’t built the tools that would allow people to pay through the exchange. Customers must contact their putative insurer, who may not be aware of their existence because the federal exchanges continue to produce corrupted data on the “back end” that are crucial for insurers.
After stonewalling for weeks about the error rate, HHS now says it is down to 10%, which we suppose is good enough for government work. But some insurers are still processing applications by hand, not least because one of five customers are submitting them on paper, not electronically.
HHS is trying to conjure the appearance of progress and specificity even as it conceals everything that is relevant to ObamaCare’s performance….
One would have to be a fool not to draw adverse inferences from the administration’s suppression of the facts.