Obamacare Needed 7 Million Enrolled to Be a Success, or Was It 6 Million? — Watch HHS Secretary Sebelius Contradict Herself
The Obama administration, on Thursday, announced the news that 6 million people have reportedly signed up for healthcare coverage via healthcare.gov. Despite the fact that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has maintained that 7 million enrollees were required to make Obamacare financially sustainable, the president and his party have touted this as a success.
The administration’s rush to characterize 6 million enrollees as a win seems to be in direct contradiction with what Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told NBC News last September. The secretary was asked what success would look like.
“Well, I think success looks like having at least seven million people signed up by the end of March 2014,” she said:
In December, Paul Krugman’s column in the New York Times also referenced the magic number of 7 million expected/required to enroll on Healthcare.gov to make the Affordable Care Act sustainable. Krugman was confident the target could be reached, stating, “Meanwhile, a funny thing has been happening: enrollments surged this month, to such an extent that the original expectation of 7 million people signed up via the exchanges by the end of March no longer looks crazy.”
Sebelius appeared on HuffPo Live on February 25 and was walking back her statement about the seven million enrollee target. In fact, with a little help from Marc Lamont Hill, she even makes Joe Biden’s acceptable number 5.6 million enrollees sound like a win.
“Seven million was not the administration,” Sebelius told Hill, “that was a CBO Congressional Budget Office prediction when the bill was first signed. I’m not sure where they got that number.”