Carney: Yes, somebody could provide a “rough estimate” of ObamaCare enrollees, but not for the public

posted at 6:41 pm on November 1, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Via the questioning of Chuck Todd during Friday’s White House press briefing:

We’re compiling data. You can’t — you need to verify it and make it accurate. Obviously the challenges in doing that have been exacerbated by the difficulties with the website. … I suppose that somebody could provide a rough estimate, but the point is you want to get accurate information when you release it publicly. If the purpose of this line of questioning, which I know is of fierce interest to those who never wanted affordable health insurance available to the American people to begin with, is to demonstrate that those numbers are low, we concede that they will be.

Well, duh. Of course “somebody” can cobble together a “rough estimate,” but the administration will be revealing what those numbers might actually look like when they’re good and ready, thank you very much (although I might point out that today marks exactly a month since ObamaCare has been — er — technically open for business). ObamaCare can hardly afford any more poor PR at the moment, and as Carney so aptly concedes, those enrollment numbers probably aren’t anything to brag about just yet. Like in, say, Arkansas, for instance:

LITTLE ROCK — Insurance company executives told a state legislative panel Wednesday they have enrolled fewer than 170 Arkansans in health insurance plans through the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace.

Cal Kellogg, executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Michael Stock, president and CEO of QualChoice of Arkansas, and John Ryan, CEO of Arkansas Health & Wellness Solutions, were asked about enrollment numbers while testifying before the legislative oversight committee on the marketplace.

Four insurance carriers sell plans through the marketplace, which launched Oct. 1. The fourth is the national Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Kellogg said he has seen fewer than 100 enroll, Stock said he has seen about 50 and Ryan said he has seen fewer than 20.


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The number is embarrassingly low, and they don’t want to give it.

bluegill on November 1, 2013 at 6:43 PM

I wonder how long it takes to ‘verify’ 6 policies.

faraway on November 1, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Obama hasn’t run out of fingers and toes yet…

albill on November 1, 2013 at 6:46 PM

The rollout has been fantastic. As of right now 175,000 unicorns have signed up for Obamacare.

rbj on November 1, 2013 at 6:47 PM

If the purpose of this line of questioning, which I know is of fierce interest to those who never wanted affordable health insurance available to the American people to begin with, is to demonstrate that those numbers are low, we concede that they will be.

No Carney, you dumb ass. You and The Chosen One get off on gloating, the rest of us want to know WHAT OUR MILLIONS IN TAXPAYER MONEY got us.

BTW Carney, about mid-November, people are going to want to know when the website will be fixed. Will getting that info also be like pulling teeth?

GarandFan on November 1, 2013 at 6:50 PM

which I know is of fierce interest to those who never wanted affordable health insurance available to the American people to begin with

Nice strawman Jay!

God he is such a prick.

Tman on November 1, 2013 at 6:51 PM

I’m content to wait since I just don’t want them to mislead anyone with incorrect numbers.

Because that might hurt their credibility on this issue.

SteveMG on November 1, 2013 at 6:51 PM

The Democrats gave up their majority in the House and risk losing even more for this crap. ROFLOL!

txhsmom on November 1, 2013 at 6:52 PM

I am sure Rachel Maddow (Jay Carney and Rachel are the same person) will just plagiarize those numbers from SNL… :)

Tilly on November 1, 2013 at 6:52 PM

what difference, at this point, does it make?

Unless this piece of shit is repealed, america is over.

Murphy9 on November 1, 2013 at 6:52 PM

They’re still trying to figure out ways to fudge the numbers without getting caught.

takeamericabackin10 on November 1, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Because that might hurt their credibility on this issue.

SteveMG on November 1, 2013 at 6:51 PM

You crack yourself up.

Rio Linda Refugee on November 1, 2013 at 6:55 PM

The Obamacare death spiral has begun. The web site and non-existent early enrollments is only the first layer of a very nasty onion.

The deadline for enrolling will almost certainly be pushed back. Even if that doesn’t happen, people who are healthy will refuse to pay twice the price to cover some other slob’s premium/subsidy. The premium hikes are not limited to individual purchasers either. Business rates will rise as their plans are ruled “bad apples” as well. Either employees will be forced to pay much more or businesses will drop their employees on to the exchanges (if they have under 49 employees).

The end will be a function of simple math. The insurers will not be able to provide coverage for only the sick at reduced prices without a huge number of healthy people volunteering to be ripped off. The result will be either the collapse of the entire insurance industry or the Feds deciding that they’re too big to fail and the taxpayers bailing them out (sound familiar).

The lefties would love to see single payer, socialized health care of course. However, this debacle will unwind far too quickly and painfully for them to be able to cross that bridge.

MJBrutus on November 1, 2013 at 6:55 PM

…those who never wanted affordable health insurance available to the American people to begin with…

Man, those do sound like some mean-spirited dudes. I bet it’s the same low-lifes who keep on not letting Obama be clear!

Fabozz on November 1, 2013 at 6:56 PM

I’m soooo glad my state refused the federal exchange. The VAST majority of those enrolled have enrolled in Medicaid, not the exchange. Imagine that.

We’ll be bailing out those states before long…

ladyingray on November 1, 2013 at 6:57 PM

What BS. I used to work in marketing for fedex.com and now work for Walmart. Both companies can easily provide daily even hourly sales figures. Carney is a liar.

Charlemagne on November 1, 2013 at 6:59 PM

You crack yourself up.

Yeah, I think pulled something in my back writing that one.

Let me got to the Obamacare website to see if I can find some better healthcare than I have right now.

There, just pulled another one.

SteveMG on November 1, 2013 at 7:00 PM

They are hiring Price Waterhouse right now to count them.

“… 34, 35. And again”

faraway on November 1, 2013 at 7:01 PM

which I know is of fierce interest to those who never wanted affordable health insurance available to the American people to begin with

Yo,Jay! And your boss is going to make sure they don’t get it.

katy the mean old lady on November 1, 2013 at 7:03 PM

If you go back in time before this piece of utter garbage was passed there were only two things wrong with the health Insurance Industry in the United States.

#1 Let Insurers sell policies across state lines.

#2 tort Reform.

Johnnyreb on November 1, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Fox needs to stop with this “breaking news” sh!t.

katy the mean old lady on November 1, 2013 at 7:06 PM

“…not for the public”

Rinse & repeat as necessary.

Ugly on November 1, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Let’s just rename the website what it truly should be:MEDICAID.GOV

hillsoftx on November 1, 2013 at 7:08 PM

6, Jay. Fvcking 6. K?

katy the mean old lady on November 1, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Stupid peasants – you have no possible need to know.

Marcola on November 1, 2013 at 7:10 PM

they count votes for the next Pope faster..

going2mars on November 1, 2013 at 7:11 PM

If the purpose of this line of questioning, which I know is of fierce interest to those who never wanted affordable health insurance available to the American people to begin with, is to demonstrate that those numbers are low, we concede that they will be.

Is this really in answer to a question from Chuck Todd? Since when is he a White House adversary?

DrStock on November 1, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Hey public, work harder.

These azzholes need more non-transparency.

Schadenfreude on November 1, 2013 at 7:14 PM

‘if i had a son he would look just like Barack Pinocchio’…laffs

going2mars on November 1, 2013 at 7:20 PM

If the purpose of this line of questioning, which I know is of fierce interest to those who never wanted affordable health insurance available to the American people to begin with, is to demonstrate that those numbers are low, we concede that they will be.

To F. Chuck Todd he said this? C’mon, dude, you’re ludicrous!

Naturally Curly on November 1, 2013 at 7:25 PM

The number is embarrassingly low, and they don’t want to give it.

bluegill on November 1, 2013 at 6:43 PM

…THAT…was a VERY ASTUTE Bishop !

KOOLAID2 on November 1, 2013 at 7:26 PM

between the bickering of the leftists over the small things, and the out and out failure, and yes, even the complicity of the GOPe, those of us who have really good insurance will find out how bad it will be once the employers start the dumping

http://healthpolicyandmarket.blogspot.com/2013/10/mr-president-i-like-my-health-insurance.html?spref=tw

i’m not going to excerpt, it is best read whole. Suffice it to say that barry is destroying the good plans as well as the cheaper plans that we’ve heard so much aobut

barry wants 4 plans…and that’s it. And next year, after mid-terms, the purge of employer plans will begin

r keller on November 1, 2013 at 7:28 PM

P.J O’Rourke said this years and years ago. ” If you think health care is expensive no, wait till you see what it costs when it’s “free”.

katy the mean old lady on November 1, 2013 at 7:33 PM

my sisters boyfriends firm handed out the notes monday,,
‘you will be covered in 2014…but no longer your wife and children’
can anyone think of a greater debacle
that touched more lives in the history of this nation??

going2mars on November 1, 2013 at 7:38 PM

someone on the left must have done the math on this..
‘yes we just pi**ed off 15million people…but Barry won by 5 million and with 12 million new voters from amnesty…Hillary will be fine in 2016…

going2mars on November 1, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Supposedly they enrolled six people on day one. As soon as they actually enroll six people, they will divulge the number of enrollees: six.

Akzed on November 1, 2013 at 7:48 PM

They probably had to break out the Casio calculator to tabulate the totals so far.

dddave on November 1, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Start packing, Jay, it is almost over.

Amazingoly on November 1, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Put this in yer pipe and suck it Jayboy.

Appeals Court Rejects Obamacare Contraception Mandate

Akzed on November 1, 2013 at 7:53 PM

i would think you could have walked into the corner bar ..
stood up and said “i am going to give you FREE car insurance for life”..
you could have gotten more than 6 takers….

going2mars on November 1, 2013 at 7:53 PM

But they can come out the day after one of our embassies is burned to the ground with the ambassador murdered and say for certain a Youtube vid caused the attack.

Bishop on November 1, 2013 at 7:56 PM

If you go back in time before this piece of utter garbage was passed there were only two things wrong with the health Insurance Industry in the United States.

#1 Let Insurers sell policies across state lines.

#2 tort Reform.

Johnnyreb on November 1, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Respectfully, I can’t agree with this at all.

There were enormous problems with health insurance before Obamacare. Of course, most of them were caused by boneheaded policies that Obama not only didn’t address, but actually perpetuated and made worse:

1. They used to bribe employers (via a tax break not even given to individuals) to get involved in their employees’ Healthcare; Then when I switched jobs, I suddenly had to deal with what should be a totally unrelated issue. AND, since my employer is shopping for me, I likely have only one, or a handful, of plans to choose from.

So what does Obama do? Instead of a bribe, he uses a flat-out mandate.

2. They used to mandate coverage of pre-existing conditions, provided someone has creditable coverage and the plan is a group plan (creating perverse incentives for plans to offer crappy service to people who need coverage the most, so that after people get sick they will choose another insurer).

So of course Obama removes the few limitations, so now healthy customers themselves have much less incentive to buy insurance. Which of course the Feds try to solve with yet ANOTHER mandate.

3. There used to have ridiculous rules saying that if an insurer wanted to cover one thing, they had to cover another (e.g., mental health parity). Meaning if I want to buy coverage for one I have to buy coverage for both. And not from two separate places. Likewise, if you’re trying to get into the industry and offer me better insurance than the big players, you can’t start out small and offer just one or two things, no matter how much better premiums you can offer. Government knows best, doncha know, and if you’re going to sell someone their dinner, you best be serving them their veggies.

So now Obamacare requires anyone who wants any kind of health insurance at all to get a plan covering 9 completely different aspects of their as well. You want that afternoon snack? Fine, but you have to eat all your dinner, including the side, the appetizer, and the desert. Papa Gov knows best.

4. Speaking of low-income, let’s talk medicaid. Before Obamacare, the government was already pumping in close to a trillion dollars into the healthcare sector. On a completely unrelated note, a mysterious force was causing healthcare prices to rise much faster than the rate of inflation.

So of course, Obama does a massive expansion of Medicaid.

5. The aforementioned employer incentive to buy my coverage meant, in practice, that I could only get my healthcare in an open-enrollment period, or when I have a “qualifying even” – in any case, a time when I’m likely to be extremely busy with a new job, possibly a new home, maybe even a new county or state (of course, I’d have to get new coverage anyway in the latter case, thanks to even more paternalistic government stupidity).

So now, if I’m low-income, Obamacare forces me to play the “enrollment” period game anyway, unless I want to buy off of the exchange and lose a subsidy that I probably can’t afford to lose, now that Obamacare’s added thousands of dollars to everyone’s healthcare costs.

Most of the things I just listed make it harder for people to easily shop around and switch plans, and make it harder for entrepreneurs to get into the market, driving costs way up, in addition to the healthcare inflation already caused by entitlements.

Bottom line: The healthcare industry here was NOT ok, or only needing a few minor fixes; we desperately needed to roll back a lot of these policies, and Obamacare just makes everything that much worse.

RINO in Name Only on November 1, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Meanwhile…
JUDICIAL WATCH Obtains Records: IRS’ Lerner Disclosed Confidential Information about Tax Status of Conservative Groups to FEC

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained email exchanges between former Internal Revenue Services (IRS) Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner and enforcement attorneys at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) indicating that the IRS provided detailed, confidential information concerning the tax exempt application status and returns of conservative groups to the FEC in violation of federal law. Included with the email exchanges were IRS questionnaires to a conservative group that contained questions of a hostile nature.

Akzed on November 1, 2013 at 8:01 PM

4. Speaking of low-income,

So now, if I’m low-income,

RINO in Name Only on November 1, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Oops, I switched 4 and 5 around.

RINO in Name Only on November 1, 2013 at 8:04 PM

2+2=8…the new, new, math…

right2bright on November 1, 2013 at 8:06 PM

If the purpose of this line of questioning, which I know is of fierce interest to those who never wanted affordable health insurance available to the American people to begin with

You know, that kind of BS is unbecoming to the press secretary. Yeah, people oppose ObamaCare but that does not mean that those people didn’t want affordable health insurance or at least affordable health care to the American people.

Really, go ‘f yourself Carney.

PackerBronco on November 1, 2013 at 8:06 PM

You know, that kind of BS is unbecoming to the press secretary. Yeah, people oppose ObamaCare but that does not mean that those people didn’t want affordable health insurance or at least affordable health care to the American people.

Really, go ‘f yourself Carney.

PackerBronco on November 1, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Not only that, but it’s not as though only the opponents are upset. Plenty of people who (admittedly foolishly) supported this bill are looking for answers too. It’s pretty ridiculous and unfair for Carney to lump them in with malicious wing-nut Obamacare-saboteurs like us.

RINO in Name Only on November 1, 2013 at 8:31 PM

But they can come out the day after one of our embassies is burned to the ground with the ambassador murdered and say for certain a Youtube vid caused the attack.

Bishop on November 1, 2013 at 7:56 PM

….very good point!

KOOLAID2 on November 1, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Rumors have it that HHS staffers are counting fingers AND toes now!!

dddave on November 1, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Holy crap….they lie about EVERYTHING and all of the professional voters believe them….why don’t they just say 49 gazllion people have enrolled….it will be love and ecstasy all around….;-);-)

Ltlgeneral64 on November 1, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Fox needs to stop with this “breaking news” sh!t.

katy the mean old lady on November 1, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Yep. I was hoping to never have to hear Shemp Smith again.

slickwillie2001 on November 1, 2013 at 9:20 PM

which I know is of fierce interest to those who never wanted affordable health insurance available to the American people to begin with

THIS! in a nutshell, is why so many Conservatives support Ted Cruz.

Here’s the WH spokesman, accusing Republicans of not wanting Americans to have affordable health care. The same way Democrats routinely accuse Republicans of wanting people to breathe dirty air and drink dirty water.

When do we ever hear Republicans calling the Democrats out on this? I don’t want to see Republicans accusing Democrats of wanting to do horrible things to the American people, even if it’s true. I have no problem with the Republicans acting in a respectable manner. But for God’s sake, they can at least lambaste the Democrats for this kind of slander.

But they don’t. The Democrats complain 1000 times more about FoxNews and Rush Limbaugh than the Republicans do about the entire Liberal pop culture propaganda machine. It’s no wonder Conservatives think that the Republicans want to play second fiddle, to the point where it’s almost like paying a dominatrix to humiliate them.

As much as I’d love to knock Obama’s teeth out, I actually want to knock John McCain’s teeth out even more. At least Obama fights for what he believes in. Republicans like McCain don’t believe in anything. They’re like nerds who go to all the cool clubs, knowing that they’ll never be cool, and don’t care that they’re being laughed at.

ardenenoch on November 1, 2013 at 9:51 PM

So, the government can’t figure out for sure how many people have signed up, but we’re supposed to trust that they’re handling the signups correctly.

They can’t find a way to compile an accurate number, but guarantee that the data already in the system is safe from hackers.

That makes perfect sense!

hawksruleva on November 1, 2013 at 10:46 PM

What BS. I used to work in marketing for fedex.com and now work for Walmart. Both companies can easily provide daily even hourly sales figures. Carney is a liar.

Charlemagne on November 1, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Well, yes he is. But I don’t doubt that a Federal Government web site would not be able to do things any business storefront site could do 15 years ago. I wouldn’t trust Uncle Sam to paint a fence, much less run an e-commerce site.

Government does 1 thing well- destroy stuff.

hawksruleva on November 1, 2013 at 10:52 PM

Liars figure and figures lie. Never more true with Obamacare

jaywemm on November 1, 2013 at 11:02 PM

So, in a country where 87% of the 320 million people, or just over 275 million people, like their health care, the Democrats hyper-partisanly destroy the liked coverage of about 60% of the 275 million, or 165 million people, in order to enroll and help about a few thousand people (maybe a whole million by March). Seriously?

You screw over 165 million people in order to help thousands.

Democrats are all insane.

Theophile on November 2, 2013 at 12:13 AM

No but they can track every call,text,twitter,chat of everyone in the US and around the world. Somehow I don’t believe jay carney or this administration

jaywemm on November 2, 2013 at 12:55 AM

Democrats are all insane.

Theophile on November 2, 2013 at 12:13 AM

Evil is the word you are looking for.

Murphy9 on November 2, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Yes, because if there is one thing computers are bad at its counting and and ultra repetitive tasks. They need to “compile” the data and count it manually. Then again maybe they do because if they’re send corrupt data then they would have to ask insurers to make sure the data wasn’t corrupt for each of the 100-200 people enrolled.

dougless on November 2, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Didn’t Saturday Night Live already do that?

TimBuk3 on November 3, 2013 at 1:11 AM