President Obama speaks about the status of the Affordable Care Act in the press briefing room of the White House on April 17, 2014. -- AP View Enlarged Image
IBD - Investor's Business Daily: Affordable Care Act: President Obama has for a while been bragging that 8 million people have signed up for ObamaCare. But the administration still hasn't released the state-by-state numbers to back up that number.
You'd think that with such good news, the administration would want to put out as many details as possible, as soon as possible. But judging by previous months, the latest Health and Human Services enrollment report is now nearly two weeks behind schedule.
As a result, we still don't know where 2.7 million ObamaCare enrollees came from.
Here's what we do know:
The exchanges run by 15 states and Washington, D.C., have reported final enrollment numbers at least through March, and most have numbers through April 15. The combined total for these exchanges is 2.6 million.
For the remaining 36 states, all we have are the numbers HHS released through February. At that point, these states accounted for 2.7 million sign-ups.
Add the two together, and you get 5.3 million. That means roughly 2.7 million must have signed up in just these 36 states after March 1 to reach the 8 million mark. And that means enrollment in these states must have doubled in just the last six weeks of a 28-week open enrollment period.
To call this an incredible achievement is putting it mildly, particularly since the state-run exchanges saw enrollment climb only 62% in those final six weeks.
So where did these 2.7 million come from? We won't know until the HHS report comes out, which presumably could be any day now.
But even if Obama can account for these fantastic gains, there are still several questions that need answering.
First, of course, is: How many have paid?
Georgia says that only 48% of the 221,604 who enrolled through March 31 have paid their premiums. In South Carolina, only 59% of the 114,789 who enrolled through April 15 had done so.
Another question: Do the numbers account for people who dropped coverage earlier? We know at least some have been kicked off for nonpayment, and others canceled their plans for one reason or another. Is HHS netting out these losses, or is it simply adding new enrollment numbers on top of the old ones?
And, did the agency screen out duplicate enrollments? One broker told us that in the last month his company was encouraged to simply start a new application if something went wrong during the process, so as to speed things up. He figures 30% of the ObamaCare applications his firm handled in the home stretch were duplicates. Did these get counted in the final tally?
The mainstream media, unfortunately, have shown zero interest in trying to make sense of these numbers, much less independently verify them. Instead, they obeyed Obama's command to "move on."
But until we get more data, and get answers to these questions, we're reluctant to accept any ObamaCare numbers put out by this administration.