It’s an outrage, but it’s also hilarious. For a full month, the Obama Administration has been furiously lying about its inability to tell us how many people actually bought insurance policies through the busted website we paid hundreds of millions of dollars to create. These denials were always patently ridiculous – there’s no way that even a manual system, using nothing but paperwork delivered to Washington on horseback, would need this much time to tabulate successful sales.
Adding to the whimsy was the Administration’s insistence upon flinging around all sorts of other statistics, with the sort of enthusiasm typically displayed by zoo monkeys who want to share their bodily functions with tourists. Team Obama couldn’t wait to tell you how many hits the website got, or how many “unique visitors” swung by, or how many application forms were supposedly filled out on line. The one and only thing they absolutely would not disclose was the number of people who actually bought policies, which is the only metric that really mattered.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was arguably willing to perjure herself in testimony this week to protect the secret, although she was careful to build in a little escape hatch against prosecution by claiming “we have no reliable data about enrollment, which is why we haven’t given it to date.” She went on to explain this was because “the system isn’t functioning,” although she had earlier provoked guffaws by insisting that the system had “never crashed.”
While the House Energy and Commerce Committee was sending a courier with transcripts of Sebelius’ testimony to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party for analysis, the House Oversight Committee was procuring documents from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – you know, the last folks who had a shot at testing Healthcare.gov before it was inflicted on the American people, and said it was “unequivocally clear from testing this wasn’t ready.”
As CBS News reports, the CMS has been holding “war room” meetings twice each day, while the fiery wreckage of Healthcare.gov rains down across the fruited plain. The notes from these meetings reveal the truth Barack Obama and the rest of his crew have been so desperate to hide from the American people.
Number of successful ObamaCare enrollments on launch day? Six.
The website launched on a Tuesday. Publicly, the government said there were 4.7 million unique visits in the first 24 hours. But at a meeting Wednesday morning, the war room notes say “six enrollments have occurred so far.”
They were with BlueCross BlueShield North Carolina and Kansas City, CareSource and Healthcare Service Corporation.
By Wednesday afternoon, enrollments were up to “approximately 100.” By the end of Wednesday, the notes reflect “248 enrollments” nationwide.
It wouldn’t be surprising if the actual number was even lower, because some of those “enrollments” are going to be garbage data chugged out by the crapware system Obama’s cronies produced. Duplicates and invalid applications will be part of the mix.
How’s that stack up against projections? “The health care exchanges need to average 39,000 enrollees a day to meet the goal of seven million by March 1,” says CBS. Oh, no worries, then.
The CBS News report is brutal to the Administration, making it clear that everyone from Obama on down has been lying extravagantly to keep these figures hidden. (You can probably already guess who the lead reporter on the story is, but click the link above to read the whole thing and see her byline.)
The notes leave no doubt that some enrollment figures, which the administration has chosen to keep secret, are available.
“Statistics coming in,” said notes from the very first meeting the morning of Oct. 2. Contractor “QSSI has a daily dashboard created every night.”
But head of CMS Marilyn Tavenner would not disclose any figures when Rep. Dave Camp, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, asked earlier this week.
“Chairman Camp, we will have those numbers available in mid-November,” she said.
Health and Human Services did some mumbling about how these figures don’t include “all the different ways to enroll,” but since all of them ultimately depend on these online resources – that’s why calling the 800 number President Obama threw out during his famed disaster-control Rose Garden appearance was pointless – the numbers aren’t going to bounce a lot higher when the Pony Express riders finally gallop into D.C. with satchels full of paperwork. And it remains a highly pertinent fact that hardly anyone was able to successfully use the system Obama spent so much money (over three and a half years!) to create.
What were Obama and his people thinking, when they used such comically transparent excuses to hide these numbers? Didn’t they know the truth would come out eventually? Of course, but remember, these people live and die by the news cycle. The Benghazi whitewash convinced them they can weather any storm, as long as they can spread the political damage thin enough – giving the media time to be distracted by other stories, finely aging bad news into “old news” they can dismiss as the carping of obsessives who won’t let go of the past. Imagine how much worse the early October coverage would have been, if it had been widely known that only six more-or-less confirmed people were able to complete enrollment on ObamaCare Day One.
That’s also one of the reasons they plowed ahead with a website launch they knew would be a disaster. They were more confident of their ability to survive a month of bad news than the concentrated humiliation of admitting all those Republicans calling for delay were correct. The horrendous inconvenience, anxiety, and cost for wasted time they dumped on the American people didn’t enter into their calculations at all.