By Akash Chougule
While most Americans were looking forward to a long Memorial Day weekend of patriotic reflection, “the most transparent administration in history” quietly announced that it will no longer provide the American people with a key monthly update about President Obama’s signature, legacy-defining law. Politico Pro reported last week that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “quietly decided to halt its monthly updates on Obamacare enrollment,” as much of the country was preparing for backyard cookouts. The latest move is yet another brick in the wall the Obama Administration continues to construct to hide the fact that Obamacare is not working.
Though the open enrollment period is over, the numbers will continue to shift drastically as people’s employment, marital status, and age change. Without the regular reports, it will be more difficult for observers to gauge the effectiveness of the controversial law in the crucial months leading up to November’s midterm elections. That’s important because Obamacare remains incredibly unpopular, and is proving to be a significant liability for many lawmakers who supported Obamacare and other elements of the President’s agenda.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) chastised the decision, saying, “This administration has a habit of only releasing Obamacare enrollment data when it is convenient for them,” a reference to the White House’s springtime touchdown dances.
The White House celebrated 8 million enrollees at the end of Obamacare’s open enrollment period, but was unwilling or unable to provide an exact number for how many previously uninsured people have paid a premium to signify they are actually covered. Estimates show that the vast majority of enrollees were already previously insured. The lack of specific data has allowed President Obama and his allies to claim victory and say that not only is Obamacare working, but that the debate is over. But saying that millions of people are receiving health insurance is a meaningless claim without the missing data specifics.
Now, those numbers will be even more difficult to come by, as the White House has decided to cease to provide the basic numbers it was releasing on a monthly basis through April.
One analyst went as far as to tell Politico, “HHS has lost their mind and will deserve every bit of criticism they receive over it.” The lack of transparency surrounding a law that cancelled over six million health plans and will drive the national debt to $27 trillion while killing 2.5 million jobs should be alarming, even for the casual observer.
But despite the White House’s best efforts, it will impossible to hide the flood of negative consequences of President Obama’s health care law, and the negative sentiment toward it seems all but unstoppable as the effects pile up in the form of cancellations, lost doctors, and higher costs – repercussions the American people are feeling every day that cannot be hidden by the Administration’s unaccountable bureaucratic henchmen at the Department of Health and Human Services.