GOP Struggling To Get Answers On Obamacare Enrollment
The Obama administration has been keeping quiet on Obamacare since celebrating 8 million sign-ups in April, but lawmakers are looking for a months-late update on how many people have really gotten coverage.
Republican Senators John Barrasso and Lamar Alexander are formally asking Marilyn Tavenner, the head of Obamacare agency the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to update the running tally of Obamacare sign-ups. It’s been close to four months since the Obama administration has released any updated enrollment numbers.
“Since the last enrollment report issued by CMS, numerous investigations raise questions about the accuracy of the enrollment figures trumpeted by the Administration in May,” Barrasso and Alexander wrote. “With the next open enrollment period set to begin on November 15, 2014, it is imperative that CMS provide Congress and the public with accurate information about the number of people who are enrolled in exchange coverage as well as the number of people who have cancelled coverage.”
A federal report found last month that the Obama administration has been unable to resolve 2.6 million citizenship and immigration inconsistencies in Obamacare applications. If many customers don’t submit documentation to resolve the problem by Sept. 5, they’ll be kicked off their coverage — potentially changing the mix of Obamacare enrollees significantly. (RELATED: Over 300,000 On The Brink Of Losing Obamacare Coverage)
Experts have long been concerned about the Obama administration’s decision to stop releasing monthly reports on Obamacare enrollment. Outside of the open enrollment periods, where any eligible resident can sign up for coverage on an Obamacare exchange, the health-care law allows those with qualifying life events — such as getting married or losing a job — to sign up for health insurance any time.
The constant churn of new sign-ups and Obamacare customers dropping their coverage means that today’s Obamacare customer base likely looks significantly different than it did four months ago, the last time the administration released any information on its prized program.
Sen. Barrasso and Sen. Alexander requested that Tavenner respond with detailed information on current Obamacare sign-ups by Sept. 9, several days after the deadline to resolve immigration problems with applications. They’re seeking details on the number of enrollees by state and age, as well as the number of customers who signed up but failed to pay their first premium or dropped coverage after the first month.