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CMS Refuses To Turn Over Info On How Many Have Paid For Obamacare: “We Don’t Have That Detailed Info”


Does anyone truly believe they don’t have the numbers? But let’s go with that, let’s accept their assertion that they are incompetent, and didn’t even build a back end in order to take payments in the system to be able to account for this.


No, 2.1 million haven't enrolled in Obamacare plans



So heads, we’re lying, or tails, we’re incompetent, but either way, you’re not getting the information which shows, again, how screwed up this all is…


With President Obama's health care law scheduled to begin in earnest when the new year kicks off, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius claimed on a Tuesday conference call that as of Dec. 28, "2.1 million people have enrolled in a private insurance plan" through the program.


Later in the call, Sebelius emphasized that enrollments wouldn't be completed until individuals paid their first month's premiums.


But HHS officials still won't disclose how many of the 2.1 million they claim enrolled through the federal website or one of the state-based exchanges actually paid for coverage.


Though Sebelius left the call before the question-and-answer session, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille declined several times to provide payment information.


“At this time we don’t have that detailed information," Bataille said in response to one question. "What I can share with you in terms of the individuals who have paid their premiums that is something that consumers will do directly with their health plans. And as part of the outreach that we have been doing, we have reminded consumers that that is a step that they need to take to confirm enrollment and access their coverage."


Later in the call, CNN's Jim Acosta asked Bataille if she could at least say with confidence that a "very high percentage" of those 2.1 million had paid.


Instead of answering in the affirmative, Bataille said, “We are confident that those consumers have selected a plan and know what the next steps are for them in terms of securing coverage.”


The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that: "As of Monday, however, only about half of enrollees billed for plans offered by more than 100 insurers in 17 states had paid their first month's premium, said Mark Waterstraat, chief strategy officer at Benaissance, a third-party billing firm that works for those insurers."


It isn't clear whether that figure is indicative of the story nationwide, and it's true that insurers have opted to give individuals until at least Jan. 10 (in some cases longer) to pay their premiums for coverage beginning on Jan. 1.


But there's no reason to believe Sebelius's claims that 2.1 million have enrolled as of Dec. 28, and journalists shouldn't report that 2.1 million enrolled until HHS releases data showing that 2.1 million paid for their plans.


During the call, Bataille also declined to provide a demographic breakdown of those who have selected a plan so far or say how many of the 2.1 million signing up for insurance were previously uninsured.


Demographic information is important, because it is vital for the exchanges to attract a critical mass of young and healthy enrollees to offset the costs of covering older and sicker participants in the program.


Also, because millions of Americans have received cancellation notices from insurers, analysts want to know whether the law resulted in a net gain of those who have private insurance. Knowing how many of the 2.1 million signing up were previously uninsured could help provide insight into the question.



FULL OF THEIR USUSAL LIES ( I think this group of people are becoming a hindrance than a help to the Obama regime.....given that no one believes their outrageous statements or claims including many many democrats).....................



Exclusive: OFA Obamacare 'Success' Stories Include Former Dem Candidate, Activist

by Wynton Hall 1 Jan 2014, 11:44 AM PDT


On Wednesday, President Barack Obama's political organization-turned-advocacy-group, Organizing For Action (OFA), launched a high stakes publicity campaign, complete with a new web presence purportedly featuring the Obamacare success stories of everyday citizens, in the hopes of resuscitating the President's highly unpopular healthcare overhaul on the opening day of Obamacare coverage.


As Politico reported Sunday, "White House officials and congressional aides say they have been lining up consumers and vetting their stories so they can be told through videos, blogs, local news reports, press conference calls and Twitter feeds." The anticipation is that "the success stories would help rebuild confidence in Obamacare and encourage millions of Americans who haven’t signed up to do so."


Politico noted that the massive publicity campaign even included House Democratic leaders sending out a three-page guide to Democrats, instructing them on how to find and place success stories of everyday citizens. "There was one key precaution: The stories need to be 'thoroughly vetted,'" wrote Politico reporters Carrie Budoff Brown and Jonathan Allen.


The OFA publicity push, which runs the risk of further angering the millions of middle class citizens who have lost their plans and seen their premiums and deductibles spike, features testimonials taken from news clips of Obamacare enrollees. Curiously, OFA's Obamacare success stories page does not include the last name of each individual. Instead, it lists only their last initial.


One individual included in the OFA gallery of Obamacare winners, listed simply as "Avram F.," a citizen of North Carolina, is quoted as saying: "Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, I am now, at age 63, covered by healthcare insurance for the first time in my adult life... Tonight I will sleep well knowing that my family and I are much more secure in life. Thank you President Obama and those in Congress who voted to pass the ACA."


When the reader clicks on the OFA link to the original source of Avram F.'s quote, they are taken to a Black Mountain News letter to the editor written by "Avram Friedman, the Executive Director of the Canary Coalition," an environmental activism group. On the Canary Coalition website, Friedman's Executive Director bio describes him as "a highly seasoned grassroots political organizer" who "has been working for civil rights, peace, social justice and environmental causes since the mid-nineteen sixties."


Friedman's posted resume on the Canary Coalition website also includes an entry noting that from January 1994 to May 1994 he "ran for the position of part-time commissioner in Jackson County in the Democratic Primary." Moreover, the resume states that from January 1988 to May 1988, Friedman was a "Candidate for Governor of North Carolina in the Democratic Primary election."


The revelation, made on the inaugural day of OFA and the Obama administration's publicity push, is just the latest embarrassment for the White House and Democrats' effort to find and promote Obamacare success stories. In October, the White House touted a young man named Chad Henderson as one of the first successful Obamacare enrollees--only to later find out he had not enrolled in Obamacare and was an Organizing for Action volunteer.


According to the latest CNN poll, a record low 35% of Americans now support Obamacare






Michelle Snyder, inset, and website.


Hospitals and medical practices across the United States are bracing for confusion and administrative hassles as new insurance plans under President Barack Obama's healthcare law take effect on Wednesday.


More than 2 million people enrolled in private plans offered under the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, during the initial sign-up period for health benefits starting Jan. 1. Enrollment began in October and lasts through March, but Americans in most states had to enroll by last week to get coverage that takes effect with the start of the new year.


The expansion of coverage through the new plans is one of the signature parts of the 2010 law, which is the most sweeping U.S. social legislation in 50 years. Over time, the law - which requires most Americans to buy insurance, offers subsidies to help low-income people get covered and sets minimum standards for coverage - aims to dramatically reduce the number of Americans who lack health insurance, which the U.S. government has estimated at more than 45 million.


After a difficult October launch plagued by problems with the website used to enroll people in coverage, the focus now for the government and healthcare providers has turned to what will happen beginning Wednesday, when patients with the new coverage start to seek care.


At the start, confirming a patient's plan may present headaches for care providers. The Obama administration has acknowledged that errors occurred in transmitting enrollment data to insurers, especially early in the enrollment period.


Although government officials say they have dramatically improved the process, healthcare providers are concerned about problems or delays in verifying coverage with insurers.


"It will be difficult for us to actually verify coverage - that's my concern," said Dr. William Wulf, CEO of Central Ohio Primary Care, which has 250 primary care physicians.


The task could be made more difficult by decisions by the U.S. government and many states to push back enrollment deadlines toward the end of the year, and to allow some patients well into January to pay for coverage that is retroactive to the start of the year.


The late deadlines mean that many enrollees who seek care initially may lack insurance cards or other proof of coverage.


Wulf said his physician offices will assume that an existing patient is covered if they claim to be when they come in for appointments and their coverage cannot be verified immediately. But if they require expensive tests, such as MRIs or heart-stress tests that can cost up to $700, the Ohio practice will check with insurers first to make sure the patient has coverage.


Similarly, Dr. Andy Chiou, CEO of Peoria Surgical Group Ltd in Illinois, said that if the practice finds a "significant minority" of its patients do not have coverage when they believe they do, it might delay elective surgeries for patients until their insurance is confirmed.


"For the protection of patients and us, we'll have to say, 'Sorry, you don't have insurance,"' Chiou said.




For the Obama administration, the political stakes are high in ensuring a smooth transition period for coverage, particularly after the website's problems damaged the popularity of the Democratic president and the healthcare overhaul, his top domestic achievement.


Republicans who have called Obamacare a costly program that will rob many Americans of insurance choices have said they will make Obamacare's problems their top issue in the November 2014 elections, when control of Congress will be at stake.


White House health policy adviser Phil Schiliro said on Tuesday that because of the intense focus on Obamacare, "problems that have never gotten attention before will get some attention now."


The U.S. government has tried to anticipate the coverage problems new enrollees might encounter. The federally run Healthcare.Gov website last week posted advice on what enrollees should do if they have not received an insurance card, encounter problems getting coverage for a drug prescription, or need to appeal a decision by an insurer.


"For consumers whose marketplace coverage begins on January 1, we're doing everything we can to help ensure a smooth transition period," Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. secretary of health and human services, said in blog posting on Tuesday.


"What we are stressing to folks is that if they get to a provider (and) there is some confusion (about coverage), call their insurer," Schiliro said. "If the insurer is not able to resolve it, they should call our toll-free number (800-318-2596) ... and operators will be there 24/7."


Some healthcare companies are trying to get ahead of potential problems as well.


Read more: The health-care 'revolution' coming to an island near you


The pharmacy chain Walgreen said on Monday that it would allow consumers who have not yet received a plan identification number from their insurer to get prescriptions at no upfront cost in January, if they can provide evidence of their coverage or pharmacy staff can otherwise confirm it.


Wal-Mart on Tuesday said it would institute a similar practice.


ACA enrollment by the numbers


Kevin Counihan, Access Health Connecticut CEO, discusses ACA registration numbers and if the exchanges will have enough enrollees to make the system economically viable.


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Taken on January 1, 2014