The Obama administration admitted Thursday that it had inflated Obamacare enrollment numbers and now its trying to blame the glitchy HealthCare.gov for their “mistake.”
An Oversight committee investigation uncovered that the administration had double-counted dental plans in its total number of people enrolled medical health insurance plans on Obamacare exchanges. (RELATED: Obama Admin Propped Up Obamacare Enrollment Total With Dental Plans)
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Marilyn Tavenner was the first to release the false enrollment total during a September hearing with the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. She testified, without releasing any data, that 7.3 million people had retained their Obamacare plans.
Health and Human Services released a report in November which cited another incorrect total of 7.1 million.
Tavenner sent a letter to the Oversight committee Thursday admitting that “a mistake was made” and hinted that the problem was due to the fact that HealthCare.gov’s system still isn’t finished.
“Once the automated system for effectuated enrollment is functional, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will be able to more easily report the number who has paid their premiums,” Tavenner wrote.
“While there were 7.3 million effectuated enrollments, approximately 393,000 individuals had both Marketplace medical and dental coverage as of August 15, 2014,” Tavenner explained. “As a result, these individuals were inadvertently counted twice in the individual effectuated enrollment numbers.”
The updated figure of 393,000 dental plans that were double-counted is slightly higher than HHS reported Thursday, which was just 380,000. Both HHS and Tavenner said that Obamacare enrollment was 6.7 million as of Oct. 15 — less than the administration’s original 7 million goal for the first open enrollment period.
Tavenner has been asked to testify to the Oversight Committee again on Dec. 9, along with embattled Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber. (RELATED: Gruber Called To Testify On Obamacare Transparency Failures)