Cruz: HHS used “funny numbers” for its ObamaCare enrollment claims

posted at 12:01 pm on April 14, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Count Ted Cruz among the unimpressed about the HHS claim that over seven million Americans enrolled in ObamaCare by the end of the open-enrollment deadline. Javier Manjarres conducted a short telephone interview with Sen. Cruz, pointing out an earlier story broken by talk radio host Drew Steele about notification letters from HHS of ObamaCare auto-enrollment and questioned whether those were part of the HHS calculations. Cruz called this part of the mystery around the “funny numbers” coming out of the Obama administration, and wondered how many of the 7.1 million were only partial sign-ups:

The letter illustrates two things. Number one, that the Obama administration is using funny numbers when it is touting the enrollment numbers, it has failed to distinguish between those who just signed up to get an application, and those who actually purchased insurance and paid their first month’s premium.

It has also deliberately neglected who was insured, so they are just trying to inflate their numbers to make it appear far better than it is, and this is a real manifestation of this-we don’t know how many of these letters HHS sent out, and we don’t even know if they are counting the partially completed applications that they filled out in the funny numbers that they are releasing.

In addition to that, it also underscores the incredible lack of data security and the violations of privacy that Obamacare necessitates, because on the face of the letter, it is state government agencies that are forwarding your personal health information to the federal government without your permission, against your wishes, and they have no business doing that. Its one of many problems that is pandemic in Obamacare.

Javier has pictures of one HHS letter, sent out to an unknown number of Americans which informed them that HHS had “started” an application for them based on information from other government agencies. This is part of the text of the letter:

“…You or someone on your application will likely be able to get coverage through the Marketplace, and get help paying for health coverage…We used the information from the state agency to start an application for you on Healthcare.gov. You’ll need to complete and submit this application to see if you qualify for Marketplace coverage.

To do this, you can log into your Healthcare.gov account, or if you don’t already have an account, you can create one on Healthcare.gov… For more information about how to complete the application we started for you www.healthcare.gov/help/statetranser”

Did these partial sign-ups get counted in the final 7.1 million figure? No one knows, because HHS hasn’t exactly been forthcoming on the data from these claims made over the past couple of weeks.

Needless to say, Republicans would like to get more of that information — and the nomination of Sylvia Burwell to replace Kathleen Sebelius as HHS Secretary gives Senate Republicans the perfect opening to demand that data, as well as explanations for the many other failures at HHS. Marc Thiessen argues at the Washington Post that they should take full advantage of that opening:

So thanks to Burwell’s nomination, Americans may finally get to the bottom of how the biggest presidential lie in recent memory made it though OMB’s fact-checking process — not once but dozens of times.

The first time the lie surfaced — when Obama told the American Medical Association on June 15, 2009, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what” — it wasn’t on Burwell’s watch.

But Burwell was OMB director when Obama declared on Sept. 26, 2013: “Now, let’s start with the fact that even before the Affordable Care Act fully takes effect, about 85 percent of Americans already have health insurance — either through their job, or through Medicare, or through the individual market. So if you’re one of these folks, it’s reasonable that you might worry whether health-care reform is going to create changes that are a problem for you — especially when you’re bombarded with all sorts of fear-mongering. So the first thing you need to know is this: If you already have health care, you don’t have to do anything.”

Burwell should explain to Congress and the American people how her office allowed blatant falsehoods to get into presidential speeches, including whether political aides overruled career policy advisers who warned that the president’s claims were untrue.

Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats may have enjoyed their brief victory lap, but it’s going to force them to defend ObamaCare the rest of the year. We’ll see how much of a victory the enrollment numbers turned out to be by the enthusiasm with which Democratic incumbents in tight races embrace them. If the studies from RAND and Express Scripts are any indication, don’t expect that to be a common thread.


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The O’Barry admin would tout false info?

Sven on April 14, 2014 at 12:05 PM

A great pay per view event would be to watch Ted Cruz debate Barak Obama. I would pay big bucks to watch that.

birdwatcher on April 14, 2014 at 12:06 PM

A great pay per view event would be to watch Ted Cruz debate Barak Obama. I would pay big bucks to watch that.

birdwatcher on April 14, 2014 at 12:06 PM

I would also like to see Cruz take on Hillary – he would rip her to shreds. If we are lucky, we WILL get to see this.

Pork-Chop on April 14, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Yes, keep pressing these scoundrels. The numbers lies will get worse what with the new lead for HHS.

jake49 on April 14, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Math & Truth have never been one of the Obama Administrations strong points.

portlandon on April 14, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Why is the white Hispanic Ted Cruz such a racist

tdarrington on April 14, 2014 at 12:11 PM

The square root of negative one calls the HHS numbers unreal.

rbj on April 14, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Obama and the commie Democrats only lie, they lied prior they will lie now. This new lady will not know the numbers as they will not allow her to know the numbers.

All anyone will get until B. Obama leaves the White House is lies and lies about prior lies.

He is lawless total.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on April 14, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Thee real numbers must have been on the missing page…

Electrongod on April 14, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Numbers are racist, and Ted Cruz knows it.

NotCoach on April 14, 2014 at 12:17 PM

The square root of negative one calls the HHS numbers unreal.

rbj on April 14, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Are they using i or j for their answer? It doesn’t matter I guess, they’re both racist.

NotCoach on April 14, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Burwell confirmation hearing:

Listed are the responses to any question asked:

1) I don’t know.
2) No one told me that.
3) I don’t know.
4) ‘The Program’ doesn’t capture that information.
5) I don’t know.
6) You HATE ObamaCare because you’re RACIST!

GarandFan on April 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Congress will fold on this as soon as the Regime creates another “crisis” for the LSM to crow about.

OccamsRazor on April 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Have they released any actual data whatsoever, or just the 7.1 million claim?

forest on April 14, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Sebelius handed the Medicare lists to the keypunchers to initiate obama’care’ sign-ups, to hype the numbers during the last 3 days bef. the 3/31/14 deadline.

A few days later people were calling radio stations, having received letters “to please finish your ACA enrollment process”. They had never started one.

This story is under-reported.

There are maybe 3.x million ‘sign-ups’ in the travesty which is obama’care’.

Make it optional and see how many sign up.

Btw, there is NO mandate in China/Russia.

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Ted Cruz is ipso facto the leader of the Eepublican party.

And Sarah Palin is Party Whip.

davidk on April 14, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Did these partial sign-ups get counted in the final 7.1 million figure?

were these fetal signups aborted before they went to full term? At what point does a fetal signup become a policy? Was the applicant trying to avoid “being punished with a baby policy?” Were these potential parents policy holders simply exercising their free right of choice to terminate the signup process??

questions/

ted c on April 14, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Ted Cruz is ipso facto the leader of the Eepublican party.

And Sarah Palin is Party Whip.

davidk on April 14, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2014 at 12:25 PM

And unemployment is less than 8%.

davidk on April 14, 2014 at 12:29 PM

If the Regime actually told the Truth about Obamacare, would anyone believe it at this point? If the numbers are bad (as we assume) the Left wouldn’t buy it because they *Know* it would be because of some VRWC. If the good numbers are real nobody here would believe a serial liar like Obama regardless of the evidence presented.

That is how polarizing Obama has been.

Mord on April 14, 2014 at 12:34 PM

avid Burge ‏@iowahawkblog Apr 13

I’m coming out with a new energy drink that reduces stress and boosts confidence. Also, it tastes exactly like whiskey. #DaveExxxtreeemz

davidk on April 14, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Since I believe O’Care lethal to healthcare in this country, it seems probable to me that this administration has already counted about 6 million dead people in its calculations. Reminds me of my sainted father-in-law’s favorite saying: “Figures don’t lie, but liars do figure”.

vnvet on April 14, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Javier has pictures of one HHS letter, sent out to an unknown number of Americans which informed them that HHS had “started” an application for them based on information from other government agencies. This is part of the text of the letter:

“…You or someone on your application will likely be able to get coverage through the Marketplace, and get help paying for health coverage…We used the information from the state agency to start an application for you on Healthcare.gov. You’ll need to complete and submit this application to see if you qualify for Marketplace coverage.

To do this, you can log into your Healthcare.gov account, or if you don’t already have an account, you can create one on Healthcare.gov… For more information about how to complete the application we started for you http://www.healthcare.gov/help/statetranser”

Did these partial sign-ups get counted in the final 7.1 million figure? No one knows, because HHS hasn’t exactly been forthcoming on the data from these claims made over the past couple of weeks.

Ed Morrissey on April 14, 2014 at 12:01 PM

.
The fact that “HHS used funny numbers” isn’t news to any of us here.

But the contents of this letter being made known to all (not just the persons it was sent to by HHS) certainly is newsworthy.

Sooo … what are the Republicans going to do with it?

I’ll bet most of us think alike on the answer to that, as well.

listens2glenn on April 14, 2014 at 12:35 PM

If the Regime actually told the Truth about Obamacare, would anyone believe it at this point? If the numbers are bad (as we assume) the Left wouldn’t buy it because they *Know* it would be because of some VRWC. If the good numbers are real nobody here would believe a serial liar like Obama regardless of the evidence presented.

That is how polarizing Obama has been.

Mord on April 14, 2014 at 12:34 PM

That is so true and so sad.

And the MSM enables this.

davidk on April 14, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Contempt of Congress means nothing…and they will get nothing. It’s a new day in government and the media is complicit.

d1carter on April 14, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Ted Cruz is ipso facto the leader of the Eepublican party.

And Sarah Palin is Party Whip.

davidk on April 14, 2014 at 12:28 PM

She owns Whips?? Interesting…..HA!

ToddPA on April 14, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Smack em again TED!

ToddPA on April 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Ted Cruz is ipso facto the leader of the Eepublican party.

And Sarah Palin is Party Whip.

davidk on April 14, 2014 at 12:28 PM

She owns Whips?? Interesting…..HA!

ToddPA on April 14, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Since her husband races dogsleds, I suspect he does, too. I’ll not mess with either.

davidk on April 14, 2014 at 12:44 PM

GOP Hack: Stop talking about the bogus Obamacare numbers, Cruz, you’re distracting from Obamacare.

xblade on April 14, 2014 at 12:52 PM

And the MSM enables this.

davidk on April 14, 2014 at 12:35 PM

They not only enable it, they are entirely responsible. There are some small leaks forming in the Dike, but they are the ones who built it in the first place.

Mord on April 14, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Stop beating around the bush with cute words ike funny. IT’S A LIE!!!! Just say it & prove it. Don’t give the Corrupt Liberal Media an out.

RdLake on April 14, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Did these partial sign-ups get counted in the final 7.1 million figure?

There is no doubt in my feeble mind they got counted – and anyone that thinks any different is fooling themselves. Hopefully, these chickens will come home to roost before the mid-terms get in full swing.

Michh on April 14, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Back to Kansas

But her crap remains.

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2014 at 1:03 PM

i was suspicious of that 7 million number as soon as i’d heard about it. it really surprised me how the obamacare struggled for months to increase enrollment numbers, then all of a sudden the number jumps up to 7 million?? i never believed it. probably they are counting people who signed up but have not paid. in other words, they put a plan in their “shopping cart.”

i didn’t know about this new story, though. it’s way beyond creepy that government is partially filling out applications for people who never asked for them!! very scary. government just keeps trying to get bigger and bigger. anywhere it can control our lives, it will. don’t want to sign up for obamacare? well who cares- we’ll try to sign you up anyway!!

Did these partial sign-ups get counted in the final 7.1 million figure? No one knows, because HHS hasn’t exactly been forthcoming on the data from these claims made over the past couple of weeks.

i’m pretty sure HHS did count those partial sign-ups. i mean, can you actually imagine HHS officials saying to each other, “we shouldn’t count those partial enrollments. we should be honest.” hahaha!! yeah right!! HHS will use any means necessary to inflate the enrollment total. the 7 million number is bs.

Sachiko on April 14, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Obamacare Navigators Help People Enroll At Mexican Consulates

And… insurers were instructed to go ahead and sign up people without checking immigration status and told the issue of eligibility would be resolved ‘later’.

So… makes me wonder how many people who aren’t eligible by virtue of being in this nation illegally are among those ‘funny numbers’ of HHS and the Obama administration.

thatsafactjack on April 14, 2014 at 1:14 PM

A great pay per view event would be to watch Ted Cruz debate Barak Obama. I would pay big bucks to watch that.

birdwatcher on April 14, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Absolutely NO WAY would I pay squat to listen to the dog eater speak under any circumstances, and I don’t care if Cruz would wipe the floor with him, either. Here’s what would happen: dog eater wouldn’t answer the question directly or otherwise; dog eater would pontificate on anything BUT the issue; dog eater would use up more time with his “uh”, “aaaaand” and other BS waste effects. Nope, it would be a complete waste of time.

HiJack on April 14, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Burwell has been with the OMB for years. She and her office put together the phony ObamaCare projections that said this would cost less than $1T and save us almost $100B. How do those metrics hold up today?
OMB has been very quiet about all the unilateral waivers that has been enacted by Obama. Maybe it’s time to ask her how much this will cost us. We also need to look at some huge cost overruns, namely the website. Taking both together, we have lost revenues and higher costs which blow their pie in the sky projections out of the water.
She is another Democratic liar who cares more about the liberal agenda than the people she serves.

djaymick on April 14, 2014 at 1:36 PM

This is the reason that Cruz needs to be the nominee in 2016. His debate skills are awesome. He would destroy the Dem opponent.

neyney on April 14, 2014 at 1:39 PM

A great pay per view event would be to watch Ted Cruz debate Barak Obama. I would pay big bucks to watch that.

birdwatcher on April 14, 2014 at 12:06 PM

I would also like to see Cruz take on Hillary – he would rip her to shreds. If we are lucky, we WILL get to see this.

Pork-Chop on April 14, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Why pay to see a AAA baseball game.
Put Newt Gingrich or Trey Gowdy in there and I’m in!
I’d even pay skybox rates to watch that contest.

Amendment X on April 14, 2014 at 1:54 PM

They LIED to pass it, LIED to get us to accept it, and now they’re LYING to get people to think OCare is “winning”.

As with the “jobs created or saved” BS, anyone who believes one word from this Administration has got to be an idiot.
Do so at your own peril!

Pelosi Schmelosi on April 14, 2014 at 2:20 PM

I got one of those letters, I am active duty military and my dependants and I are covered under tricare so I just ripped it up and threw it away. That would count for 4 of the 7M that they auto signed up, who dont qualify anyway. I wonder how many other military got this?

geramy2012 on April 14, 2014 at 2:26 PM

This is the real challenge for the Right: how do you combat blatant lies and thugery from the Left while still maintaining a basic sense of human integrity?

Right now, we’re losing. How do you win while still keeping your soul? These people are despicable. They have no morals whatsoever.

Straight-up warfare may be the only answer.

WhatSlushfund on April 14, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Wow, almost unbelievable…

So you don’t want to sign up for Obamacare eh? Well then, HHS will sign you up based on info we took from your state. Then we’ll count you among the 7.5 million new happy customers.

If it were any other administration, I wouldn’t believe it. Insanity.

Oxymoron on April 14, 2014 at 4:35 PM

A great pay per view event would be to watch Ted Cruz debate Barak Obama. I would pay big bucks to watch that.

birdwatcher on April 14, 2014 at 12:06 PM

I would also like to see Cruz take on Hillary – he would rip her to shreds. If we are lucky, we WILL get to see this.

Pork-Chop on April 14, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Not if the Democratics get someone like Candy Crowley moderating.

slickwillie2001 on April 14, 2014 at 4:55 PM