Conservatives brutally attacked the abysmal Obamacare numbers released by the White House on Wednesday, with many saying the fact that only about 106,000 Americans signed up for healthcare plans proved that President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy achievement has been a dismal failure.
"This report is a symbol of the failure of the president’s healthcare law," House Speaker John Boehner said. "It is a rolling calamity that must be scrapped."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell likened the Obama's administration's numbers to "Enron-like accounting," adding that "fewer people have signed up for Obamacare nationwide than the 280,000 who’ve already lost their plans in Kentucky.
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"Today’s enrollment announcement will be cold comfort for the millions who’ve lost the coverage they liked and the millions more facing higher premiums.
"Only in Washington could placing an item in a virtual shopping cart — without even buying it — count as a sale," McConnell added. "If private businesses used that standard, online retailers would be poised to announce their best earnings season in American history."
"Some people have more Twitter followers than the number of people who have enrolled in Obamacare," Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America in Washington, told Newsmax. "Women make 80 percent of the healthcare decisions in this country, and incur 60 percent of the cost at a doctor's office.
"It makes perfect sense that they are particularly attuned to the failures of the Affordable Care Act," Nance said. "Turns out we care about more than just 'free' birth control. It's bad enough if our premiums increase or we lose coverage. The health of our entire families matters to us."
And Rep. James Lankford, the Oklahoma Republican who grilled Obamacare technology officials earlier Wednesday during testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that only 346 of his state’s residents could navigate the main healthcare website, HealthCare.gov, and choose a plan.
“More people drove through my local Sonic in Oklahoma City today at lunch than have signed up for Obamacare in my state," he said.
The Obama administration said th
at about 106,185 people signed up for insurance coverage nationally under Obamacare since the individual mandate took effect on Oct. 1.
That includes only 27,000 through the beleaguered main website, which covers 36 states that do not have their own health exchanges.
The numbers represent about 1.5 percent of the 7 million the White House has estimated to enroll in Obamacare plans by next March. Nearly 1 million people have successfully indicated whether they are eligible for Obamcare subsidies, but they have not selected a plan, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Further, the dismal enrollment figures illustrate just how far the White House has to go to enroll enough consumers to make Obamacare financially viable, critics told Newsmax.
"The figures are reflective of a three-year effort that has failed the American people and is not working," said Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union. "We are now faced with the real prospects that Obamacare does not work, just as we predicted.
"We also know that our pleas for defunding Obamacare were based on sound principles — and now the American people know that they weren’t just based on free-market principles and defending Americans' right to choose their doctors and their policies."
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The data release capped a busy day on Capitol Hill that underscored the many problems facing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park admitted under intense questioning by House Republicans on the Oversight Committee that his team was "working incredibly hard to meet" the goal of having HealthCare.gov repaired by the end of the month.
President Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had said that the site would be free of technology issues by Nov. 30.
Meanwhile, in a private session with Obama at the White House, Democrats demanded that the administration move quickly to help Americans whose existing insurance policies were being canceled.
"The president promised that if you like your health insurance, you can keep it—period," said Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the Republican chairman of the Oversight Committee. "Not only is that untrue, but this administration cannot even offer a workable alternative to people once they have lost the insurance they liked.
"It is time for the president to finally acknowledge Obamacare isn’t working and to delay the law, in fairness to families and individuals.”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called for "full repeal and replacement" of the healthcare law, adding that, "there is a better way to help people obtain high-quality healthcare and control costs, but Obamacare is not it."
"While the government can’t even figure out how to run a website, millions of people are receiving cancellations notices, and healthcare premiums are skyrocketing," Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee told Newsmax. "I will continue to work with my colleagues to investigate the Obamacare failures."
Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the Obamacare data had him foreseeing "a fundamental breakdown of the insurance market, with coverage gaps and skyrocketing premiums — pricing millions of Americans out of healthcare, yet still forced to pay the individual mandate tax.
"We need the real data — including who is signing up, what kind of coverage they are getting and what the risk pool looks like — so we can take concrete steps to protect Americans from getting hit hard by higher premiums, or worse yet, a loss of coverage."
Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, told Newsmax: "In the real economy, a business doesn't count sales until they've actually been paid.
"The Obama administration however, is counting 106,185 Americans as having enrolled, regardless of whether they've actually purchased a product or not.
"Meanwhile, over 4 million Americans have lost the healthcare plan they liked and were promised they could keep," Phillips said. "The reality of Obamacare is less choice, higher costs, and broken promises.
"It's time to put patients ahead of politics and admit this law isn't working for the American people."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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