AP Reveals Memo Detailing Obamacare Enrollment Targets, HHS Claims No Targets Exist

Yesterday the AP reported on a leaked memo showing sign up targets for the new healthcare.gov website:

The Sept. 5 memo, for Health and Human
Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, lists monthly enrollment targets
for each state and Washington, D.C., through March 31, the last day of
the initial open enrollment period under President Barack Obama’s health
care overhaul.

[…]

In the memo, officials
estimated that 494,620 people would sign up for health insurance under
the program by Oct. 31. And that was portrayed as a slow start….The memo projected enrollment would reach 3.3 million nationally by Dec. 31.

Current estimates of the actual number of successful enrollments via healthcare.gov range between somewhere under 5,000 to as high as 51,000. Clearly the administration is not going to meet those early targets and perhaps not the later ones either.

Rather than admit the problem, an HHS spokesperson sent the following email to Washington Post Wonkblog writer Sarah Kliff [NRO’s Jim Geraghty who caught this first]

The Administration has not set monthly enrollment targets. We are analyzing data about the uninsured, state plans for enrollment, and the experience of the state of Massachusetts which implemented a similar system. We continue to focus on reaching as many uninsured Americans as possible, based on experience on the ground. As it did in Massachusetts and Medicare Part D, enrollment takes time.

Notice this is not a denial of the content of the AP story. They aren’t saying the memo doesn’t exist and they aren’t saying the AP made a mistake it needs to retract. They seem to be saying the memo just isn’t a big deal, which of course they would say given that it shows them to be failing miserably.

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