Jeff Flake Calls for Obamacare Enrollment Stats
Senator Jeff Flake thinks the public should know how many people have enrolled in the health insurance marketplaces created by Obamacare.
Flake released a letter he sent to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, asking for reports on enrollment in the federal and state-run exchanges.
Although enrollment figures have been released by some of the states that are running their own insurance exchanges, most states, including Arizona, are using the federal marketplace.
No federal figures have been released, but the Associated Press reported almost a week ago that a source said 476,000 people had filed applications for health insurance through federal and state exchanges. The number of applications won't be the same as the number of people who have actually purchased health insurance.
"Without enrollment figures, it's unclear whether the program is on track to reach the 7 million people projecting by the Congressional Budget Office to gain coverage during the six-month sign-up period," the wire service reported on October 19.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard that the marketplace website, healthcare.gov, has been a miserable experience for everyone involved.
Obviously, Flake's letter could be seen as an attempt to paint the healthcare law as a failure, either by getting what would be described as disappointing enrollment figures, or not getting the numbers, and saying the Obama administration has something to hide.
On the other hand, it would be nice to know.
Flake's letter cites a news outlet in North Dakota that tried to get enrollment data from a private insurer selling insurance through the marketplace, but was reportedly told that the federal government asked them not to publicize those figures.
Specifically, Flake's asking for monthly reports on enrollment, starting on November 1.
Send feedback and tips to the author.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.