Tags: Healthcare Reform | barrasso | cooking | books | obamacare | numbers

Barrasso: Administration 'Cooking the Books' on Obamacare

By    |   Sunday, 30 March 2014 02:09 PM

The Obama administration is "cooking the books" while touting its numbers on Obamacare, Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso says. And even though there are Democrats working on "fixes" to the president's signature healthcare law, "it is not fixable."

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Last week, the Obama administration reported 6 million people had signed up for insurance, and that it expected its initial goal of 7 million customers by March 31 will be filled as people sign on at the last minute.

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But Barrasso, a physician, told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace that the number of people who have paid for their coverage is lower than the White House admits, and so is the number of previously uninsured people.

"I don’t think [six million] means anything," said Barrasso. “I think they’re cooking the books on this. People want to know the answers to that. They also want to know, when this is all said and done, what kind of insurance will those actually have?"

He said that even though people may have insurance, "will they be able to keep the doctor that they want? How much more is it going to cost them? And we know that the best cancer hospitals in the country want very little to do with people that actually buy this insurance on the Obamacare exchanges."

Administration guidelines for the success of Obamacare say that 38 percent of the people who sign up need to be young and healthy so the plans can be funded. However, only about a fourth of them are young, said Wallace.

Further, the numbers are lower when it comes to people who were previously uninsured. Twenty-seven percent of those signing up already had other coverage, and another 23 percent have not paid their first premiums, said Wallace.

Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, has been working on a plan to change some of the Obamacare provisions, including offering a "copper" level plan on the exchanges that will cost customers less money but expect them to pay higher premiums. Another change being eyed is to allow companies with up to 99 full-time employees to enjoy an exemption from having to provide insurance for their workers, instead of the current provision giving that exemption to companies with 50 or fewer full-timers.

King, appearing on the Sunday show, argued that enrollees are now up to 6.5 million, "numbers that don't come from the White House, and he anticipates that there will be another surge of people before the Monday cutoff.

"The sign-ups are getting younger by the day," King said. "Younger people, not surprisingly, are the last people to sign up."

The open enrollment date, which President Barack Obama ordered pushed back into mid-April for people who say they are having problems signing on because of the HeathCare.gov. website, will not create an inconsistency, said King.

"People are in line, and they've started the process of signing up," he said, comparing the extension to when voters are allowed to cast ballots if they already standing in line."

But Barrasso said the extension does not deal with the "issue of actually getting people care. What we see is even with those signing up, many of them are seeing higher premiums [but they] can't keep their doctors, and they can't keep their hospitals."

For example, he said, 10 of 28 New Hampshire's hospitals are excluded from the Obamacare exchange plans.

Further, Barrasso said that even the changes proposed by King and other Democrats "only nibbles around the edges, but it doesn't get to the fundamental flaws."

Democrats are "unnerved" and "pushing the panic button," he said, because they are worried about keeping their seats in this year's midterm election battles.

"What we're seeing now are politicians trying to save their political careers instead of focusing on medical care," he said.

Editor's Note: Should ObamaCare Be Defunded? Vote in Urgent National Poll

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The Obama administration is cooking the books while touting its numbers on Obamacare, Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso says, and even though there are Democrats working on fixes to the president's signature healthcare law, it is not fixable. Last week, the Obama...
Sunday, 30 March 2014 02:09 PM
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