Ever since the beginning of Obamacare’s botched rollout, the Obama administration has left many questions unanswered. With the end of the first open enrollment period, Americans still don’t know how many “enrollees” have paid their first month’s premium and are actually insured, how many were previously uninsured, or how many were forced off of coverage that they liked and onto the Obamacare exchanges.
Last Thursday, the president apparently answered one question: how many enrollees are “young invincibles”? However, his answer to that question was less than true.
President Obama said that 35 percent of the people who enrolled through the federal marketplace are under the age of 35. If true, this would be welcomed news for a law plagued by failure, as young enrollees are needed to pay for insurance they don’t use in order to subsidize others.
Yet this claim, like so many others, was misleading. The Washington Post Fact Checker gave Obama’s statement two Pinocchios because that 35 percent includes children under 18, who are traditionally not counted in enrollment statistics as the “young invincibles” that Obamacare so desperately needs to succeed. In reality, those who actually count as young and healthy—aged 18 to 34—are only 28 percent of “enrollees.”
“Officials were able to put into circulation a really good number, without context,” Fact Checker said. “By the time reporters realized that the relevant number was different, the White House highlighted the fact that it was the same as the Massachusetts figure.”
“The White House got its spin out,” Fact Checker added. That may be good for the president’s image, but it left the American people deceived, thinking enrollment numbers were better than they actually are.
If Obamacare were doing well, it would not need to be sold on misleading statistics.