White House Press Secretary Jay Carney seemingly denied Monday that the Obama administration had hoped to have seven million consumers enrolled in Obamacare by March 31, 2014.
Carney’s comments were in response to CBS News’ Major Garret questioning what appears to be a shift in the White House Obamacare enrollment goals.
“You just said that the aggregate number at the end of March is less important than the demographic mix. Why is the administration backing away from the seven million — seven million-person enrollment figure that Kathleen Sebelius, Marilyn Tavenner and various other incarnations said was a goal and a legitimate goal and a reachable goal?” Garrett asked.
“What I would say, Major, is that the seven million estimate was a CBO figure from earlier this year on how many people they thought would come in during the first enrollment period,” Carney responded.
At least seven million enrollments are needed by March 31 to keep the government-run program financially stable, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
“(W)e’re not backing away from a number that we didn’t put out originally,” Carney added, making it sound as if the White House hadn’t embraced the seven million figure. “I think that others noted that seven million is a fine target but that that will not determine whether the marketplaces function effectively.”
“But I mean Kathleen Sebelius said on September 30th — this is a direct quote — I think success looks like at least seven million people having signed up by the end of March 2014,” Garrett pressed. “This sounds like she’s embracing that, not just conceptually, but she said that’s what success looks like.”
Constant glitches and general confusion surrounding the Obamacare website has undoubtedly slowed the number of enrollments.
As of Dec. 1, the White House claimed 1.1 million Americans have “signed up” for Obamacare.
If there is no payment option on the healthcare.gov website, then there’s a question between who has “enrolled” (i.e. paid) and who has “signed up.”
Sure, there may be 1.1 million “signups” — but that’s not the same as 1.1 million “enrollments.”
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