We are quite used to politicians saying one thing and meaning something very different. We don’t like it, but that is the way things seem to be now.
Public servants in the Obama Administration are also now able to say something, mean nothing at all, and get away with it.
That makes no sense, but in the Obama Administration, we’re getting used to it.
Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who brought us the healthcare.gov debacle, said Tuesday she refutes the argument that the Obama administration ever said they would have 7 million Obamacare enrollments by the end of this month.
Sebelius claims she “volunteered” that number – seven million – last year. “Volunteering numbers” is apparently a way of saying something that a) isn’t true, b) does not reflect reality and c) can’t be used against them in the future when they are proven wrong.
Video of Sebelius “Volunteering” Seven Million
This means that when the Administration “volunteers” a number, it is just a number plucked out of the air, signifying nothing.
How do we know when to believe what they say?
In the video above, her quote, speaking on the record to NBC’s Nancy Snyderman on September 30, 2013, was, “I think success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014.”
At the time she used the seven million figure, she said that is what “success” would look like. She didn’t say “but these are CBO figures, not ours.” She didn’t say “I have no idea, but the CBO says seven million.” She took the CBO figure as her own and she embellished it by adding “at least.” It could be the CBO figures looked better than the five or six thousand the White House was thinking at the time.
Her answer now is to blame that seven million number on the Congressional Budget Office prediction. Speaking to The Huffington Post, Sebelius said “First of all, 7 million was not the administration. That was a CBO, Congressional Budget Office prediction when the bill was first signed.”
She went on to further trash the CBO, saying, “I’m not quite sure where they even got their numbers. Their numbers are all over the board, and the vice president has looked and said it may be closer to 5 to 6.”
Oh great, Joe Biden looked at the CBO numbers and he says it might be 5 or 6 – is that 5 or 6 people?
It wasn’t just a single occurrence, either. They really don’t know what is real and what is someone’s guess, more than a year out, based on a bunch of other guesses. Almost a year ago, back in June, 2013, Kathleen Sebelius told reporters, “We’re hopeful 7 million is a realistic target.”
Criticism came in thick and fast. Charles Krauthammer criticized Sebelius Tuesday, on the Fox News “Special Report with Bret Baier.”
Krauthammer said, “Of course, she was the one that said it, among others. You know, it’s an old rule, ‘say the truth, it’s easier to memorize.'”
Sebelius is not the first in the administration to waffle on Obamacare projections.
In December last year, White House healthcare policy adviser Phil Schiliro said that attracting 7 million enrollees to Obamacare by March “was never the administration’s goal.” He confirmed that the seven million was a Congressional Budget Office estimate, and told NBC that seven million “was never our target number.” He didn’t say what their number was. Its easy to be smug when you say nothing, and pretend you know everything.
So we are still none the wiser. We don’t know what the numbers really are. If they know them, they aren’t saying. The only thing we know now, is that it is not seven million, and it must be a lot lower than that, otherwise they wouldn’t want to distance themselves from it. If it was more, they would be bragging now.
So much for open government!
Jay Carney Suggests Two Million
Two big questions now are, will Americans remember this mess come November, and what will they do about it?
It will be interesting to see how many Democrat politicians continue to hang their political hat on Obamacare, in their November races.