Video: CMS chief spends four minutes avoiding question of how many people have enrolled in ObamaCare

posted at 5:21 pm on October 29, 2013 by Allahpundit

Excruciating fun from this morning’s House hearing with CMS director Marilyn Tavenner, who apologized for the Healthcare.gov apocalypse and then claimed that “we have a system that’s working,” just not quite at the speed she’d hoped. I guess that’s true, technically. If 15 people are enrolling a day instead of the 15,000 they’d hoped for, the system is still kinda sorta working. Feel better?

A few days ago, HHS announced that 700,000 people had already applied for coverage under ObamaCare this month. Great! HHS’s target was 500,000. It’s a smash success, no? Well, no: HHS’s target was 500,000 enrollments, not applications. Not everyone who’s applied has enrolled, and given the tech problems on the back-end of Healthcare.gov, some untold number of applications are almost certainly misfires created by the site’s buggy processing. Likewise, that “700,000″ number includes applications filed on the state exchanges, and some equally untold number of those are actually applications for Medicaid. The adverse selection problem that’s looming next year is a function of people signing up (or not signing up) for private insurance, not Medicaid. Which is why Tavenner’s so quiet here. She must have some idea of whether they’re in the ballpark of hitting the 500,000 mark needed to avoid adverse selection fallout. The fact that she’s not ready to say so yet speaks volumes.

Economist Tyler Cowen imagines what’s coming:

4. Come January 1, hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose their individual coverage packages for not meeting ACA standards. Most of them won’t have ready replacements. This will be a big mainstream media story, not just a FoxNews story. There will be easily identifiable victims, expressing sorrow or rage or both in front of the camera. Left-wing bloggers will express outrage that Republicans express outrage over the existence of individuals with no insurance coverage. Republicans will express outrage that left-wing bloggers express outrage, etc.

5. Democrats will propose various ACA fixes, and Republicans will reject them, claiming that the law requires a more fundamental restructuring. That standoff will not be readily resolved and it will become the “new debt-ceiling crisis.” Democratic defections will be a problem for Obama.

6. The exchanges will be mostly working by March 2014, but by then the risk pool will be dysfunctional. In the meantime, real net prices will creep up, if only through implicit rationing and restrictions on provider networks. The Obama administration will attempt to address this problem — unsuccessfully — through additional regulation.

7. By October 2014, no one will think the exchanges are a satisfactory solution, except for 17 state exchanges which will be running reasonably well. Some of the state-level exchanges, by the way, will have more serious problems than is currently evident, mostly on the back end.

Follow the last link to see what the eighth and final step is. Exit question: Why would HHS hold onto the enrollment numbers until November, when panic about the website will be at a fever pitch? If you have bad news to tell the country about the law not working, dropping it while the media’s watching to see if Healthcare.gov can be salvaged in the nick of time (spoiler: it can’t) is the worst possible time to do it. It’ll only compound the sense of catastrophic failure.


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All these “people” working for Obama are communist shills……

They must be purged.

redguy on October 29, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Could she be lying..? Just asking.

d1carter on October 29, 2013 at 5:23 PM

This few, hah, hah, hah

H/t RWM

Schadenfreude on October 29, 2013 at 5:25 PM

The witch was above all as snotty as most all who testify.

Hey you, most all you gov’t leeches. YOU work for us, a fact you have forgotten. Wake up or go directly to Hell, you bloodsuckers.

She is most irritating in her snotty remarks.

Schadenfreude on October 29, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Has public employee unions made all government employees a bunch of arrogant jerks?

d1carter on October 29, 2013 at 5:27 PM

She sounded like a broken records, irritating voice “by mid Nov”, “by mid Nov”…then she gets irritated at the questions.

Fire her azz already. What kind of scum work for you.

Work harder. They need more bennies, the looters of the state.

Schadenfreude on October 29, 2013 at 5:27 PM

“we have a system that’s working,” just not quite at the speed

Parents must have taken her to school in a Yugo or a Pinto.

hillsoftx on October 29, 2013 at 5:28 PM

We’ve been saying all along that we will release the info on Friday the 13th of November. But as it turned out we were looking at the wrong year’s calendar, as there’s no Friday the 13th next month, so as the Ides of November approaches, we’ll revise it and release the data on the 4th Thursday of next month, or do a document dump late the previous evening.

anotherJoe on October 29, 2013 at 5:28 PM

I thought even commie beeyaches could count to five.

msupertas on October 29, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Tomorrow the National Nurse Ratched will blame…MoochHell’s cousins? Heh, no bidding and she’ll blame the single entity they hired, or the 4-5 foreign ones they gave contracts to, due to nepotism and cronyism…ha, ha, stupid land.

YOU willingly brought and then kept this carnival of incredible charlatanic fools, who live regal lives, on your hard labor.

May they destroy you all in full, from the left to the right, all who brung them. It’s your fault.

Schadenfreude on October 29, 2013 at 5:29 PM

At least she didn’t freeze up.

Flange on October 29, 2013 at 5:30 PM

I hope everyone understands that no matter how few people sign up, the Obama administration will lie about the number (they really have no choice), and declare it a success.

The time between now and November will be spent creating false documentation.

Asking the question over and over again at this stage is a waste of time. The question that needs to be asked is how will the Administration prove the numbers.

doufree on October 29, 2013 at 5:30 PM

She could have taken the 5th, see, she’s ok…leftist talking points.

Their standards are sub-latrine levels now.

Schadenfreude on October 29, 2013 at 5:31 PM

I cannot wait for everything to really hit the fan. All the libs on my facebook have been strangely silent on my obamacare criticism. Hmmm….

Jack_Burton on October 29, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Obama.
Waivers.
Executive orders.
Problems solved.

albill on October 29, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Left-wing bloggers will express outrage that Republicans express outrage over the existence of individuals with no insurance coverage.

Individuals who had health insurance before Obamacare destroyed it!

txhsmom on October 29, 2013 at 5:32 PM

She is a typical passive-aggressive, the worst kind of people.

Schadenfreude on October 29, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Democrats are giving President Obama automatic debt ceiling hike authority. So perhaps the Democrats will pass legislation that forces everyone to be enrolled into whatever health insurance policy Obama deems fit.

There! problem solved.

Varchild on October 29, 2013 at 5:33 PM

She should probably just make an opening statement, then take the 5th.

BobMbx on October 29, 2013 at 5:33 PM

She was damned infuriating, I shouted a verboten word for anatomy at my tv when I saw her testimony…

OmahaConservative on October 29, 2013 at 5:33 PM

“Nobody’s signing up alright, nobody. (Sniffle) Now leave me alone before I file a sexual harassment lawsuit. It’s clear to everyone here that you are sexually harassing me.”

msupertas on October 29, 2013 at 5:34 PM

“…they go into the shopping experience.”

Blaise on October 29, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Tommorrow’s hearing will more fun…

d1carter on October 29, 2013 at 5:35 PM

“Working” is an interestingly flexible term for this Obama CMS mouthpiece.

In the age Obama, as in the time of Clinton, it all depends on what the definition is of “working” is – as opposed to what “hardly working” is.

Lying SOB’s. Period.

marybel on October 29, 2013 at 5:36 PM

The key number to look for is simple: How many healthy people between ages 26-50 who are not receiving any subsidies have successfully received an ACA approved policy? Otherwise, all you have are system leeches and this thing topples in a year.

hillsoftx on October 29, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Good Greif!!!! These numbers have got to be so incredibly bad…. Epically bad.

KCB on October 29, 2013 at 5:39 PM

and this whole crap shoot about comparing it to Mass. and their initial low #s is more BS…Mass. only had to insure 8% of their 6.5 mill population, or around 500,000 folks total…and Mass. wasnt forcing folks off their policies…but hey, in a Lib’s mind, an apple is an orange, otherwise you are racist…

hillsoftx on October 29, 2013 at 5:41 PM

“…they go into the shopping experience.”
Blaise on October 29, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Yup. Just like Amazon, don’t ya know?
Puke. Had to change channel to TCM or throw shoes at television.

marybel on October 29, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Good Greif!!!! These numbers have got to be so incredibly bad…. Epically bad.

KCB on October 29, 2013 at 5:39 PM

and remember, they are starting out with a negative 2 million, the # of folks Obama kicked off their plans…the answer Mid-Nov will be like a net of 12..

hillsoftx on October 29, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Will she be going to the Halloween parties as a ghost or as herself?

docflash on October 29, 2013 at 5:44 PM

It’ll only compound the sense of catastrophic failure.

Wow! Just like Coward-Piven wanted …..yaaaayyyy…
C’mon trolls, say something ;-)

burrata on October 29, 2013 at 5:45 PM

I’e watched the video a couple of times, and the only question I have is:

Lorien? yes/no?

BobMbx on October 29, 2013 at 5:45 PM

… four minutes …

So, that’s like one minute per actual obamacare enrollee.

Pork-Chop on October 29, 2013 at 5:46 PM

She knew all sorts of hard data on how much better the website was but you gonna have to wait to get the enrollment numbers.

Everything that comes out of the Obama regime and its merry band of idiots is a lie. Make that assumption for anything and you will be correct 98% of the time.

jukin3 on October 29, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Just wait until next year when all the employers that got a waiver starts dropping coverage for their employees.

That is why they delayed it. Can you imagine if it had happened at the same time as the individuals were losing their coverage?

Barred on October 29, 2013 at 5:54 PM

my comment will be available in mid-november.

Sachiko on October 29, 2013 at 5:58 PM

She knew all sorts of hard data on how much better the website was but you gonna have to wait to get the enrollment numbers.

Everything that comes out of the Obama regime and its merry band of idiots is a lie. Make that assumption for anything and you will be correct 98% of the time.

jukin3 on October 29, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Bing. She knows what she wants you to believe, but she doesn’t know any number that exposes this charade.

Liar.

Jaibones on October 29, 2013 at 5:59 PM

If they don’t know the numbers, how do they know its going bad?

BobMbx on October 29, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Exit question: Why would HHS hold onto the enrollment numbers until November, when panic about the website will be at a fever pitch? If you have bad news to tell the country about the law not working, dropping it while the media’s watching to see if Healthcare.gov can be salvaged in the nick of time (spoiler: it can’t) is the worst possible time to do it. It’ll only compound the sense of catastrophic failure.

First, I agree with the spoiler.

Second, when you are dealing with not just bad leadership, but incompetent and feckless leadership, and they know they are going to have bad news to drop – they aren’t thinking effectively about how or when to drop it, or even how to try to mitigate just how bad the news will be. Their entire focus is going to be on dodging accountability, responsibility, and finding a patsy to drop the 16 ton weight on top of – be it the GOP, or the contractors, or the private insurance companies.

Withholding the numbers buys them time – delays people seeing just how big of a clusterfark this launch was. As Sebelius admitted last week, she doesn’t work for, nor is accountable to, the people who are demanding she gets sacked. Every once in awhile, the truth does slip out.

Athos on October 29, 2013 at 6:01 PM

I like the part where she said “sir we will not have those numbers until mid-November.”

pain train on October 29, 2013 at 6:02 PM

There must be less ObamaCare customers than there are libfreeordie ex-girlfriends.

Chuck Schick on October 29, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Chuck Schick on October 29, 2013 at 6:05 PM

That should be ex-boyfriends.

Barred on October 29, 2013 at 6:08 PM

The Lord Obamassiah is my Master. You people in Congress were ONLY elected!

GarandFan on October 29, 2013 at 6:09 PM

That should be ex-boyfriends.

Barred on October 29, 2013 at 6:08 PM

No, Chuck was right. There would be zero minus ex girlfriends…

OmahaConservative on October 29, 2013 at 6:09 PM

So, I’ll be the one who is mean and ask the question.

Who paid for this old ladies face lift.

She got one that seems sure.

Do fed employees get face lifts from ins. or did some one in the White House or some Democrat House or Senate member pay for it?

Any ideas?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 29, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Step 8 is not going to happen. If the other steps occur, full repeal will actually be an option.

Ca97 on October 29, 2013 at 6:11 PM

We should have a raffle. It’s got to be bad.

I bet it’s less than 200.

JellyToast on October 29, 2013 at 6:11 PM

This was her training for the hearing.

pain train on October 29, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Your all deemed covered and it is deemed the ones of China will loan the money to pay for it and your grandchildrens lives are the property mortgaged to the ones of China.

simple if you just put it down in words

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 29, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Why would HHS hold onto the enrollment numbers until November, when panic about the website will be at a fever pitch?

They’re hoping the enrollment number has increased by one in November to claim victory.

Obama lied. Transparency died.

rukiddingme on October 29, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Have public employee unions made all government employees a bunch of arrogant jerks?

d1carter on October 29, 2013 at 5:27 PM

The entitled class doesn’t work too hard either: Gov’t Workers ‘Absent’ 50% More Than Private-Sector Workers

slickwillie2001 on October 29, 2013 at 6:14 PM

So, I’ll be the one who is mean and ask the question.

Who paid for this old ladies face lift.

She got one that seems sure.

Do fed employees get face lifts from ins. or did some one in the White House or some Democrat House or Senate member pay for it?

Any ideas?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 29, 2013 at 6:10 PMWhoever paid didn’t get their moneys worth…

OmahaConservative on October 29, 2013 at 6:14 PM

The entitled class doesn’t work too hard either: Gov’t Workers ‘Absent’ 50% More Than Private-Sector Workers

slickwillie2001 on October 29, 2013 at 6:14 PM

They need time to use and enjoy those taxpayer funded charge cards they get.

Athos on October 29, 2013 at 6:17 PM

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 29, 2013 at 6:10

Good lord, she is only 62. She looks much older…

OmahaConservative on October 29, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Just think of how many of these in Goverment of the U.S. hate U.S. like these we see on TV.

Now it comes in our heads how the people headed to the Russian gulags must have felt at the start of it.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 29, 2013 at 6:20 PM

O/U at 10,000.

Bishop on October 29, 2013 at 6:37 PM

slickwillie2001 on October 29, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Hey thanks for the grammar correction…too many life things getting in the way of my commenting…LOL.

d1carter on October 29, 2013 at 6:39 PM

OmahaConservative,

Ya, the face lift made it worse, she should call up Ms Clinton and they could do a classless actions action in court.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 29, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Illegal immigrants demand rights. Government employee idiots don’t realize they work for us. God I wish I could write on here what I’d love to do to these people but I’d be banned. And probably jailed.

neyney on October 29, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Bottom line: your medical insurance will be canceled on Jan 1, and your new insurance might be available several months after that.

Don’t get sick in 1Q2014.

DarthBrooks on October 29, 2013 at 6:50 PM

This is actually all good. Let it be seen for what it is. Liberals are unwittingly killing any prospect of single payer for all time with their condescension, incompetence and lies.

echosyst on October 29, 2013 at 7:02 PM

The scenario ignores John McCain stabbing the Tea Party in the back all year, and the House Crybaby folding right at victory -1 day.

Spartacus on October 29, 2013 at 7:05 PM

CMS director Marilyn Tavenner

….I know she’s a liar…but…would you?

KOOLAID2 on October 29, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Did she ask for free birth control? Just wondering.

Metro on October 29, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Marilyn Tavenner – The Musical

Shy Guy on October 30, 2013 at 12:18 AM

The problem is that the Dems are going to spend the next year saying, “yes, there are some problems here, but we knew there would be some problems. And they’re all fixable. At least they’d be fixable if not for those damn obstructionist Republicans.”

The GOP needs to get ahead of the curve here. Stop playing cutesy games with 404 errors and “If you like your plan”. They need to hammer on the fact that the reason we’re having these issues is because the whole system is an unworkable giant house of cards. It’s not fixable. Touching it in one place will break it somewhere else. The only way to fix this is to throw it out and start over.

And the GOP better have a palatable plan for replacement. They can’t just say “throw it out”, or even “throw it out and start over”. They have to say “throw it out and start over with THIS”.

Chris of Rights on October 30, 2013 at 8:02 AM