White House spokesperson Jay Carney is not known for his honesty or command of the facts. So it is hardly a surprise that he would use misleading statistics in an attempt to dismiss a Washington Post report that the federal government’s healthcare.gov system cannot handle the appeals filed by tens of thousands of Americans whose applications have errors, many of whom are being overcharged for health insurance as a result.
Carney argued that the 22,000 people who filed appeals are a small percentage of the millions who have signed up for Obamacare, and promised that those 22,000 would get help. Aside from the usual inflated enrollment numbers, Carney’s defense makes the false assumption that the number of people filing appeals is the same as the number of people–probably far larger, statistically–who have experienced errors with the system.
Moreover, as Charles Krauthammer pointed out yesterday on Fox News’ Special Report, the actual appeals system does not exist and has not been built. It is yet one more aspect of a system so poorly designed that it almost seems to have been set up to fail. Carney’s attempt to reassure the public does not answer the question of when those 22,000 appeals will be processed, and how many more will struggle with new errors–or why.