Expert: HHS pushed false numbers to downplay extent of health insurance cancelations

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Kathleen Sebelius’ Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] pushed false numbers to back up claims about health insurance cancellations, according to a health policy expert.

HHS emailed a press release Thursday touting a reporter conference call with Ron Pollack, executive director of the group Families USA and founding board chairman of the scandal-plagued Obamacare enrollment group Enroll America.

“Less than 1 Percent of Nation’s Non-Elderly are at Risk of Losing Their Current Individual Market Plan and Paying More for Insurance under the ACA,” according to the release. That figure, based on a new Families USA report, does not hold water, according to Dr. David Hogberg, health care policy analyst for the National Center for Public Policy Research.

“To get to that 1 percent number, they assume that everyone making less than 400 percent of the poverty level is getting a subsidy, or what other people call a tax credit, for purchasing insurance on that exchange,” Hogberg told The Daily Caller.

“But, given the way the subsidy is calculated, many people under 400 percent FPL won’t receive any financial assistance,” Hogberg said.

Hogberg also said that the Families USA report does not factor in people who receive subsidies but still face higher costs under Obamacare. Cases in which the subsidy is not enough for someone to lower their costs to compete with their canceled former plans were “excluded” from the report, according to Hogberg.

“The fact is the report lowballs the number of people who are losing their insurance and will not be eligible for assistance on the exchanges. An accurate analysis would likely reveal it is far more than 1 percent,” Hogberg said.

Families USA recently received a $1 million grant to promote Obamacare from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Sebelius admitted in testimony before a House ethics panel in June that she personally asked the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to contribute to Pollack’s former group Enroll America. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation owns more than $1 billion across 13 million shares of stock in Johnson & Johnson, which is regulated by HHS.

Enroll America, meanwhile, is currently embroiled in scandal after a James O’Keefe video showed an official with the nonprofit group conspiring to leak private data to what he thought was a political action committee.

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