Wyo. Sen. Barrasso: White House Knows True Obamacare Numbers

Image: Wyo. Sen. Barrasso: White House Knows True Obamacare Numbers

Monday, 31 Mar 2014 08:38 PM

By Greg Richter

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Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso says the White House knows the real numbers of signups for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, but won't release them.

"I think they don't want to give that number," Barrasso said Monday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."

"They needed 7 million people to make the math work," Barrasso said, and a lot of those have to be young, healthy people.

Barrasso, a physician, said on "Fox News Sunday" that the Obama administration was "cooking the books" when it announced late last week that 6 million had signed up. That figure puts the White House far closer to its original 7 million goal.

White House officials and Democrats on Capitol Hill have defended lower-than-projected numbers ever since the Oct. 1 rollout of Healthcare.gov proved disastrous with a website that didn't work and had security concerns.

But as the 6 million figure was announced, Democrats were happy to start touting numbers. Republicans, however, have been skeptical, and are using Obamacare as a major campaign issue in midterm elections as polls have shown the public increasingly sour on the law.

After Barrasso's accusations of cooked books on Sunday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an interview Monday, "Sen. Barrasso should rest assured that his constituents will finally have real health insurance."

Barrasso said that in his weekend travels across the state, his Wyoming constituents are telling him a different story. They complain about high expense, limited choice, and  canceled plans, he said.

President Barack Obama said when pushing the law that he wanted to see that 30 million uninsured got health coverage. But no one who has signed up for insurance was asked whether they were signing up for the first time or simply changing coverage, he said.

"The No. 1 goal of the president is to insure the uninsured," Barrasso said, "and they don't even ask the question when they designed the faulty website."

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