Sebelius: Why, no, we have no idea who's paid for their ObamaCare plans

The Big Data campaign meets the Most Transparent Administration in History:

The government agency charged with implementing Obamacare has no idea whether any of its enrollees have paid their insurance premiums, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday.

“I can’t tell you that because I don’t know that,” Sebelius told the House Ways and Means Committee when asked how many enrollees had actually paid.

Sebelius pushed blame to the insurers, saying that the companies only gave HHS “aggregate data” on those enrolled.


She also admitted, again, that HHS is not measuring the very metric ObamaCare was created to improve: the number of uninsured.

Here’s what she does know:

And, here’s what we do know about ObamaCare’s paying and non-paying customers, from mid-February:

Fully one-fifth of the new enrollment numbers that HHS has been waving around are bogus. Their target for the end of January was 4.4 million sign-ups; a few days ago, they told the country they’d made it three-quarters of the way there with 3.3 million. In reality, once the deadbeats are bounced from the rolls by their new insurers, they’ll be in the ballpark of 2.6 million, or 60 percent of their target. And that’s after HHS pressured insurers to extend the payment deadline from December 31 into January, hoping that a little more time for slackers would pad the enrollment figures even more.

Is it “only” 20 percent who haven’t paid, though, or is the actual number even bigger? The Times is guesstimating based on what they’re being told by different insurers, but read down into the piece and you’ll see that the biggest companies are seeing payment rates below 80 percent — another detail flagged by Laszewski when he wrote about this a few days ago. Eighty percent is probably the best-case scenario[.]


And, always remember, the number of “sign-ups” the administration is hawking is people who went on an exchange site and selected a plan, not those who necessarily paid for that plan. As in, if you went to Amazon and put a garlic press in your virtual cart, you’d be considered a happy purchaser of said garlic press by the administration. The press giving that nonsense metric any credence at all is a willful misrepresentation of what’s going on, here:

On Tuesday, HHS said that 4.2 million people had signed up for private insurance plans under Obamacare through the end of February. That’s way off pace for the administration’s initial goal of 7 million enrollments this year, now viewed as unattainable. Even reaching a revised target of 6 million projected by the Congressional Budget Office after the disastrous rollout of is a daunting challenge. A new report Wednesday by Avalere Health said reaching the lower goal was highly unlikely, estimating 5.4 million enrollments by the end of March.

The answer to how many of the sign-ups have paid is important because that’s who will have actually gained insurance under the law. The number is bound to be significantly less than those who have simply chosen plans — four large insurers estimated to POLITICO this week that 15 percent to 20 percent of people who signed up hadn’t paid.


But who’s counting? No, really. Who is counting?

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