In explaining why she was so sure there would be no delay, Bataille added, “In fact, we don’t actually have the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period in 2014” – as if an absence of statutory authority had ever stopped Obama before.
The next day, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius seconded Bataille’s empty promise. When asked at a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee if she was going to delay open enrollment, she replied, “No, sir.” Her use of “sir” suggests an interesting strategy: Even if you have no respect for the law, at least feign respect for the people who write the laws.
Sebelius’ guarantee that she wouldn’t push back open enrollment wasn’t her only misleading statement of the day. In her testimony, she told Congress that HHS wasn’t keeping track of the number of Obamacare enrollees who have paid their premiums. But it now appears she was just trying to inflate Obamacare’s numbers – like LBJ inflating the enemy casualty figures in Vietnam – to cover up the gap between people who have “enrolled” and people who haven’t paid for their enrollment. Days later, the Ways and Means Committee learned from an HHS website that the agency actually does have this information and was just keeping it secret.
At least someone somewhere has learned something from an HHS website.
Now that is a surprise.