Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius lowered the bar on expected Obamcare enrollments by March 31, contradicting her pre-rollout support of a 7 million signup estimate by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Sebelius appeared Tuesday on a “Huffington Post Live” interview moderated by Marc Lamont Hill, who asked the secretary about Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that 5.6 million enrollments would be a success.
“That’s 1 million to 2 million short of the 7 million mark that the administration set,” Hill noted. “Do you agree with Vice President Biden that five or six [million] is a much more realistic mark than seven?”
Sebelius wouldn’t give an inch. “Well, again Marc — first of all, 7 million was not the administration,” she began. “That was a CBO prediction when the bill was first signed. I’m not even sure where they got their numbers, their numbers are all over the board. The vice president has looked and said, you know, it may be closer to 5 to 6 [million].”
“I’m more interested in what we’re doing today,” the secretary asserted. “Getting the word out to target populations, letting African Americans know that this is an opportunity that’s historic. Never before has affordable healthcare been available to people who didn’t have healthcare in their workplace.”
The secretary did actually promise 7 million Obamacare enrollees back in September — before a botched rollout and dysfunctional mandates put a kink in the Obama administration plans. “I think success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014,” she told NBC News last fall.
Obamacare signups — not including Medicare and Medicaid expansions — currently stand at nearly 3.3 million: Over 2 million short of even Biden’s most recent estimate.
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