Busted using dental plans to pad Obamacare numbers, HHS says: ‘The mistake we made is unacceptable’

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In news that will no doubt be buried under the weight of the president’s amnesty announcement, the Obama administration announced yesterday that they “mistakenly” exaggerated the number of healthcare signups under Obamacare.

The mistake was discovered by congressional investigators with the House Oversight and Government reform Committee through data they received from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“Faced with large numbers of Americans running for an exit from ObamaCare, instead of offering the public an accurate accounting, the Administration offered numbers that obscured and downplayed the number of dropouts,” Darrell Issa, Chairman of House Oversight and Government Reform, said in a statement. “Now they’re saying this was just a ‘mistake.’ The claim that this was only accident stretches credulity. The Administration misreported ObamaCare’s enrollment figures not once, but twice, and officials cautiously changed their statements from ‘health plans’ to ‘MarketPlace coverage.”

“HHS must provide a clear and detailed account of who knew about this decision and when they knew it. This administration still appears to be calling its Obamacare transparency plan from the Jonathan Gruber playbook: dismissing the American public’s right to know with the same deceptive arrogance that helped them pass the bill in the first place,” Issa said.

This isn’t the first such mistake. Enrollment figures for Obamacare have declined since the first open enrollment period in April.

In May the White House announced that enrollments exceeded 8 million but the number was rightly disputed as HHS didn’t distinguish between those who paid the first month’s premium and those who didn’t.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner told the committee there were 7.3 million enrollees in her testimony September 18, 2014. Less than a month later she dropped that figure to 7.1 million.

HHS has since confirmed that 380,000 of those who signed up selected only dental plans dropping the actual number of enrollments to 6.7 million after the committee’s discovery.

In response Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell tweeted “The mistake we made is unacceptable. I will be communicating that clearly throughout the dept.”

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Carmine Sabia

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