Townhall's Benson Slams Media for Uncritically Swallowing Obama's '5 Million Enrolled' Spin

March 18th, 2014 4:30 PM

Townhall's Guy Benson today took Washington Post's Aaron Blake and senior editor Sarah Kliff to task for uncritically furthering Obama White House spin that 5 million Americans have successfully registered for ObamaCare.

This is patently false, Benson charges, noting that, at best, the number is somewhere closer to 4 million, assuming the very generous estimate of a 20 percent "non-payment" rate on the registered policies. Benson explains (emphasis mine):


Back in reality, the generally-accepted estimate of the nationwide non-payment rate is 20 percent -- meaning that one-fifth of the "newly enrollment" are not, in fact, enrolled. The administration "counts" anyone who's placed an Obamacare exchange plan in their virtual shopping cart as signed up. Kathleen Sebelius again testified last week that HHS is not keeping track of who checks out and pays their first month's premium, which are necessary steps to becoming fully enrolled. (I've included that video below). As of a few weeks ago, payment delinquency rates were close to 50 percent in certain states. Nearly half of the few previously-uninsured Americans who have selected plans through Obamacare are not paid up. Also, the overwhelming majority of these "new" enrollees are not obtaining coverage for the first time. Most had insurance prior to Obamacare. According to estimate, fewer than 30 percent of those signing up are first-time enrollees. Two independent studies revealed that roughly 90 percent of eligible consumers who were uninsured before the law's implementation have chosen not to purchase plans on Obamacare's exchanges. The top reason cited was lack of affordability. Here's my back-of-the envelope math about the real progress




That's based on the White House's original target of seven million, which they've since tried to pretend never happened. If you take these calculations a step further by only tallying enrollments of (a) newly-insured people who (b) have activated their coverage by paying, the accurate "new enrollment" number sits just north of one million. And that's using the relatively generous 20 percent nonpayment rate assumption. Remember, according to the McKinsey study, the delinquency percentage among this group is more than double the broader national one-fifth figure.

For Guy's full March 18 story, including the Sebelius video embed, click here.

RELATED NewsBusters story: "NBC News Uncritically Swallows HHS Obamacare 'Surge' Number"