Obamacare

Obama Administration to Quit Releasing Monthly Reports on Obamacare Enrollment

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Whitehouse.gov

Concerned that the Obama administration has perhaps been a little too forthcoming with enrollment data under the health care law? Well, you can stop worrying. They're about to put a stop to that.

Throughout the law's open enrollment period, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released regular reports tabulating sign-ups, state-by-state totals, demographic breakdowns, and other information under the health law.

The reports were frustrating in many ways and often did not provide all the data that we would have ideally liked to see. But they were a regularly updated source of official health law figures—a partial but useful measure of some of what was happening under the law.

But with open enrollment over, and the midterm campaign season under way, the administration has apparently decided that it's no longer necessary to provide such information on a regular basis. The monthly reports are set to end, according to a report earlier this week in Politico, and the administration won't reveal what sort of data it will share in the future, saying only that "we will look at future opportunities to share information about the marketplace that is reliable and accurate over time as further analysis can be done."

This will make it very difficult to determine what is happening to enrollment during the "off season." Even though open enrollment has ended, there are still a variety of major life events—job loss, moves across state lines, the birth of a child—that qualify someone to get coverage through the exchange. But without regular, consistent reports, it's going to be essentially impossible to see what that churn looks like. Will enrollment rise, or fall, or stay flat during the months between open enrollment periods? Without recurring reports, we really won't know.

Even more worrying is that Politico reports that it's not clear that HHS plans to publish the reports again later this year, when the next open enrollment period begins. So we may not just end up in the dark about the off season—we may end up without useful, consistent data about what's happening when the enrollment game is on either.

It's hard to look at this move and see anything other than political motivation at work. What reason would the administration have for not reporting this information except hiding numbers that could be inconvenient? Yes, open enrollment is over, but enrollment changes will continue every month. And it's not as if these reports represent a particular drain on resources; the administration will have this information internally—it has to, in order to manage its end of the law—so it's really only a matter of whether it gets formatted for the public and released.

Obviously we don't know for certain what the motivation is here, but I'll put it this way: If the reports were likely to contain good news for the law, then it's difficult to imagine that the administration would be discontinuing them.

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  1. This is what success looks like.

    1. Elections have consequences

  2. “Even though open enrollment has ended, there are still a variety of major life events?job loss, moves across state lines, the birth of a child?that qualify someone to get coverage through the exchange. But without regular, consistent reports, it’s going to be essentially impossible to see what that churn looks like

    Numbers will show that 30% of any given ‘signups’ never come through with any payment, so that the total Actual Current Fully Enrolled # is probably a consistent 1/3 less than the ‘signed up’.

    They don’t want people to know that.

    Or that the trend for ‘New’ sign-ons is falling. Meaning, those that tried once and failed? are not coming back.

  3. I HAVE IMPORTANT THINGS TO SAY ABOUT PIKETTY MOTHERFUCKERS

    (testing squirrels…)

  4. “It’s a way we had over here for living with ourselves. We cut ’em in half with a machine gun and give ’em a Band-Aid. It was a lie. And the more I saw them, the more I hated lies.”

  5. the administration will have this information internally?it has to, in order to manage its end of the law?so it’s really only a matter of whether it gets formatted for the public and released.

    The numbers are Math and Math is Science and Science is Reason.

    Our leader asks only that you have Faith in Him.

    Do you see the problem?

    I don’t see any reason to believe that the administration does in fact have this information internally. What would be the purpose of collecting information that has fuckall to do with whatever it is they already know they’re going to do anyway? So what if the information shows this or shows that? Do you seriously think anybody is going to look at any sort of information and make some sort of decision or change any sort of decision based on that information? If you’ve already decided you’re going to order the steak for dinner, what’s the point of trying to figure out if the tuna salad is cheaper than the spaghetti?

  6. the administration will have this information internally?it has to, in order to manage its end of the law?so it’s really only a matter of whether it gets formatted for the public and released.

    The numbers are Math and Math is Science and Science is Reason.

    Our leader asks only that you have Faith in Him.

    Do you see the problem?

    I don’t see any reason to believe that the administration does in fact have this information internally. What would be the purpose of collecting information that has fuckall to do with whatever it is they already know they’re going to do anyway? So what if the information shows this or shows that? Do you seriously think anybody is going to look at any sort of information and make some sort of decision or change any sort of decision based on that information? If you’ve already decided you’re going to order the steak for dinner, what’s the point of trying to figure out if the tuna salad is cheaper than the spaghetti?

    1. The problem I see is SQUIRRELZ!

  7. Remember when open enrollment ended and the WH trotted out Propaganda Minister Carney to proclaim the ACA a success because it had reached it’s completely arbitrary goal of 8 million enrollees(Nevermind how many actually paid)? I seem to recall the whole point of the ACA was because 30 million Americans were excluded from healthcare by evil, callous insurance companies and needed Daddy O’s caring,benevolent hand to provide it for them. Why is this never brought up by the media? By the administration’s own reasoning, it’s been an abysmal failure. The most open, transparent administration eva!!! What a fucking joke.

  8. Most transparent administration eva!

  9. Pro-Obamacare blogger Charles Gaba seems to be the source of this particular news, at http://acasignups.net/14/05/21…..ly-reports . Megan McArdle picked it up a couple of days ago from him. The comments at acasignups are so endearingly earnest, with remarks like, “This is just appalling and tone-deaf. Sometimes it seems this administration glories in casting a shadow over its own achievements — and I absolutely believe that the ACA is a huge achievement — by creating side stories like this one.” Because, you know, Obama *never* talks about how awesome his policies are. Also endearing is the faith they still have in dear leader: “Obama means well. And I he’s sincere in his ecumenism, forever seeking the middle ground, bridge-builder and conciliator.”

    1. Pardon me while I throw up….

    2. His only bridge building is an eight lane highway that connects Obama’s mouth to his ass

  10. the administration will have this information internally?it has to, in order to manage its end of the law

    The administration is going to start managing the ACA?

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