“We dispute their numbers. We don’t have hard, concrete numbers.”
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We wrote about the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s new Obamacare enrollment statistics earlier today. In short, the committee found that of the consumers who’d “signed up” for plans on the federal exchange, only two-thirds of them had completed the enrollment process by paying as of April 15. Based on that information, the administration’s “8 million enrollees” bragging sustains and even bigger credibility blow than even many skeptics had anticipated. At his daily press briefing this afternoon, White House spokesman Jay Carney hotly disputed the new findings, but couldn’t refute them with any empirical evidence:

“We dispute their numbers. We don’t have hard, concrete numbers.”

That’s a verbatim quote. Recall that Kathleen Sebelius — who also testified on several occasions that the administration doesn’t have their own numbers to share — urged Congress to ask the insurers for this information. A House committee did exactly that, and the White House doesn’t like the results. A few points on Carney’s commentary:

(1) He makes two fair points in questioning the committee’s report: First, the GOP says its findings are based on responses from “every insurance provider in the health care law’s Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM).” The Obama administration says the study only incorporated about 160 companies — just over half of the approximately 300 participants in the federal exchange. Perhaps Republicans could argue that they selected a representative sample, but that is still different from “every” provider. This discrepancy isn’t helpful to the report’s credibility.

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