February 2014: "Seven million was not the administration['s enrollment goal]."
September 2013: "Success looks like at least seven million people signing up by the end of March."
It's a rare treat to expose a lie so shameless with back-to-back, smoking gun clips, but here it is in all its mendacious glory. (Here's another one, starring Nancy Pelosi). The Obama administration tried a similar trick in downgrading the percentage of young, healthy enrollees they said would be required to make Obamacare's risk pools sustainable. Before they started failing far behind on that metric, the target was near 40 percent; now it's suddenly 30 percent, thanks to
anti-math, political ass-covering magic. There's another major lie inherent in Sebelius' answer in the first clip, during which the left-wing interviewer amusingly asserts that "there's no doubt the [sign-ups] progress has been great:" She's still clinging to widely debunked enrollment statistics. Her numbers don't account for non-payment rates (expected to be at least 20 percent in many markets), nor do they distinguish between newly insured consumers and people who were simply scrambling to get insured after Obamacare yanked their previous plans away. The CBO recently clawed back its likely enrollment projection by seven figures, and as of the beginning of February, the administration was far off pace to even hit the revised total:
WH target: 7 mil enrollments by 3/31. 66% thru process, they're at 47% of goal & can't say who's paid, a prerequisite for coverage.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) February 12, 2014
As for the administration's Medicaid enrollment figures -- which they frequently deploy to massively pad their Obamacare stats -- the Washington Post's fact-checker has doled out eight Pinocchios on those claims. They're just straight-up lying. Even some MSM reporters are growing restless over the administration's aggressive opacity and ongoing shell games:
When you go to all this trouble to cover the uninsured, is it really that unreasonable to ask how many uninsured people Obamacare has covered so far? The answer, apparently, is: Yes. It’s unreasonable. The truth is, nobody has a good, real-time fix on how successful the Affordable Care Act has been in reducing the ranks of the uninsured. The Obama administration hasn’t been able to say how many of the 3.3 million people who have signed up for private health insurance coverage, or of the 6.3 million who have been determined eligible for Medicaid, were actually uninsured before — and health care experts aren’t sure yet, either...It all adds up to frustration for supporters, opponents and everyone else who’s trying to track the progress of Obamacare — because reducing the ranks of the uninsured was, well, kind of the point.
You know what else was "kind of the point" of this expansive government experiment? Lowering people's health costs. The administration released a report just today concluding that roughly two-thirds of small business employees will experience increased costs due to Obamacare. Again, that's not an estimate from some agenda-driven conservative think tank. That data is from the Obama administration itself. And the result will be more out-of-pocket expenses and less take-home pay for millions, and in many cases, the looming loss of existing coverage. Kudos all around, Democrats.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography