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Obamacare Official: We Have No Clue How Many People Have Paid for New Coverage

Scroll down for the headline story; I wanted to get to some other Obamacare business first. I'm a few days late to this story out of Colorado, but it's worth revisiting for a few reasons. Dan wrote last week about a brewing controversy in the Rocky Mountain State, where Sen. Mark Udall's staff appears to have pressured the state insurance commissioner's office to revise the number of Coloradans who lost their existing coverage under Obamacare. Democrats have been taking a beating over their "lie of the year," and Team Udall evidently tried to mitigate the damage by manipulating official statistics. "We need to move on this ASAP — or we’ll be forced to challenge the 249K number ourselves,” one staffer wrote in an email. This episode reflects poorly on Udall and offers an insight into Democrats' preoccupation with their self-inflicted political wound. In fact, every Senate Democrat voted to kill a Republican attempt to enshrine the president's "keep your plan" promise into law back in 2010. As it turns out, Udall was partially correct after all -- the state's figures were off. Just not in the direction his aides were lobbying for:


That number will only grow in 2014, as millions of additional Americans will receive new cancellation notices in the fall. Udall's electoral fortunes are not as secure as they once appeared, as a late 2013 Quinnipiac poll demonstrated his weakness as an incumbent. Meanwhile, Obamacare continues to wreak havoc on businesses and families alike. Here's a local report out of North Carolina -- where Sen. Kay Hagan's been playing hide and seek with the president -- about how local companies are grappling with the increased costs associated with the law:

Here's a bitter personal testimonial from a disaffected Obamacare fan:

My husband, Miles, was enrolled in what appeared to be an excellent, affordable plan at the stroke of midnight. Celebration seemed in order. It had been a tough slog, of course. We’d worried the GOP would succeed in defunding it or undermining it in some other way that would put affordable coverage further out of our reach. Then we’d wrestled with that horrific website, struggled to understand the choices before us and waited nervously after we did so to see if the insurance card would actually materialize. It did. On Jan. 1, we rejoiced. And on Jan. 10, we gave up. Ten days in, we decided to cancel Miles’ Obamacare plan, swallow hundreds of dollars we’ll probably never recover and buy him a private policy away from the Federal Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace. His new plan does benefit from many requirements of the Affordable Care Act as well, so that’s good. But even the administrators at Obamacare’s headquarters have agreed this is the best option. Really. That’s not how it was supposed to be. After dozens of hours of phone calls that displaced my usual work obligations this week, only one thing is clear: Nobody can give anybody a straight or consistent answer to anything. Our troubles may strike some as trivial and particular, although they wouldn’t if it happened to them. And anyone who wants a successful system – as we do – must understand that these nightmares are happening across the nation to the very people who want Obamacare to work.


Read the whole thing. This couple (both journalists -- surprise!) desperately wanted, and still want, Obamacare to work. But it's been such a colossal cluster for their finances and health that they had no choice but to pull the plug. I'll leave you with the story that got top billing in the headline, and it's a doozy. An Obamacare official admitted in testimony yesterday that the administration has no idea how many of the supposed 2.1 million new "enrollees" are actually paid up -- and are therefore actually enrolled (though even that hasn't been a silver bullet for everyone). And why, pray tell, don't they have a handle on this important number? Because the online functions that would track this sort of thing...still haven't been built. Henry Chao wasn't kidding. Wow:

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