Hey Democrats, it's time to move those goalposts!
White House: 7 million signups was ‘never our target number’
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“Seven million signups by the end of March.” That was the ObamaCare target number that’s been reported by virtually every major media outlet across every possible format. If you read an article in the New York Times about the ACA, you saw the 7 million figure. If you were watching MSNBC, CNN, Fox, NBC, ABC, or CBS, you saw the 7 million figure. If you read any one of a thousand news websites, you saw the 7 million figure.
For an entire year, the administration was fine with it.
Unfortunately, as the Washington Post’s wunderkind, Ezra Klein, admitted over a month ago, there’s just no way they can get to 7 million “enrollees” any time soon. Now, it looks like the administration has realized what the rest of us have known all along. Its target is almost certainly unattainable. So, in true Obama fashion, it’s time to pretend the target never existed in the first place.
From the Washington Times:
White House health care adviser Phil Schiliro said Tuesday that a goal of seven million people signing up for health insurance by the end of March was “never our target number,” attempting to downplay a figure that has been circulated for months.
“That was never our target number,” Mr. Schiliro said on MSNBC. “That was a target that was put out by the Congressional Budget Office and has become the accepted number.”
Hmmmm…. Could it be that it’s “become the accepted number” because no one from the administration ever tried to contradict it? In fact, Kathleen Sebelius used to be quite happy to tout 7 million signups as the Department of Health and Human Services’ yardstick for success.
In June, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said the administration was “hopeful that seven million is a realistic target.” In an interview with NBC News a day before HealthCare.gov launched Oct. 1, Mrs. Sebelius said that “I think success looks like at least seven million people having signed up by the end of March 2014.”
As always, we’re forced to keep in mind that - as defined by the administration - “enrollments” aren’t necessarily an indication of the number of people who’ve actually purchased insurance. It only means you’ve “selected a plan.” Sebelius’ measurement of “achievement” was always bogus, since it was never based on concrete numbers. Even with that cushion, they’re failing to achieve an already flimsy set of victory conditions.
Dems have offered Americans a mealy brown carrot of increased premiums and higher deductibles. People aren’t biting. Because they can’t keep moving their goalposts forever, they now have to employ the stick - penalties enforced by the IRS. That should do wonders for their popularity in an election year.
Since the administration has retroactively decided that their ObamaCare goals never existed, they think people will have a hard time claiming they’ve failed to meet them. It’s the Obama version of succeeding. If you refuse to hold yourself to any sort of standard, you’ll never have any trouble reaching it.