Former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claimed approximately 7.5 million people have now enrolled in health coverage through the Obamacare exchanges in Senate testimony Wednesday–just hours before news broke of her resignation thanks to the incredibly problematic rollout of ObamaCare.
If accurate, the claim would add about 400,000 signs up in addition to the 7.1 million Barack Obama claimed on April 1st.
“As of this week, 400,000 additional Americans have signed up and we expect that number to continue to grow,” Sebelius told a Senate Finance Committee hearing. People who had trouble completing their signup by the March 31 deadline were given until April 15 to finish in the federal exchange that serves 36 states. Some states are allowing a longer grace period.
However, that number does not mean individuals have paid for said coverage and it’s thought that that number could be much lower. In any rate, it’s hard to see her later resignation as anything but an admission of failure at this point.
In fact, Sebelius was still taking criticism from republicans right up until the end of her tenure at HHS.
“And I can tell you those numbers will be much more significant once we tally” the latest enrollments, she said.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, preempted Sebelius’s announcement, blasting the administration’s earlier figure of 7.1 million as merely “claimed enrollees.”
“It’s like Amazon.com taking stock of the people who (put items in their shopping cart) and then counting them as sales. In other words it’s a false metric.”
Obama will formally nominate White House budget office director Sylvia Matthews Burwell as her replacement on Friday, while Republicans made it clear Sebelius bailing at this point will do little to temper their criticism of the program and it’s incredibly problematic implementation.
… Sebelius’ relationship with the White House frayed during last fall’s rollout of the insurance exchanges that are at the center of the sweeping overhaul. The president and his top advisers said they were frustrated by what they considered to be a lack of information from HHS over the extent of the website troubles.