Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Is Inslee Administration Misleading The Public?

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Claims are being made that "According to emails acquired by a public records request, Washington Governor Jay Inslee's office, leaders from Washington State's Health Benefit Exchange (HBE) and the office of the Insurance Commissioner scrambled information to mislead the public" with skewed or withheld enrollee numbers during the first week of the exchange launch.

SHIFT Washington says Inslee's office pushed to release figures only from the third day---presumably because the accumulated enrollment numbers of the first week presented a very dismal outlook for the future of the exchange and Obamacare.

HBE Communications Director Michael Marchand apparently wanted the correct numbers put forward thinking that to delay the numbers would make matters worse---not better.

SHIFT says evidence suggests that HBE Communications Director Marchand, however, provided Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat with inflated and skewed enrollment numbers.

In an email exchange with Marchand on October 8, a staff member wrote, "[Danny Westneat] called me and just wanted some quick clarification on the numbers we provided yesterday."

Later that day, Westneat released a column for the Seattle Times titled, "Obamacare Is Here, GOP, Ready Or Not."

The column was, of course, very supportive of the state exchange and Obamacare, leading readers to believe the program was much more successful than it actually was---and is.

He said Obamacare was going so well that soon the Republicans, including Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, could forget about repealing it.

Westneat told the public that due to the 3000 to 4000 sign-ups per day, "the state will be at 40,000 total and partial enrollees" by the end of week two and 60,000 or more by week three.

Here's the problem.

First, he's citing a figure that combines medicaid and private health plan enrollees. And that makes a significant difference. Medicade does not contribute to the solvency of the program.

This seems to be a deliberate attempt to skew facts in order to influence public perception.

Secondly, at the end of week two, enrollment was only at 25,000---not 40,000.

And it's worse than it looks.

Of the 25,000, only 3000 were private health care plan enrollees.

The trend of high Medicaid enrollment continues with only minimal buy-in by those who will actually pay premiums. This is not even close to being sustainable. And hardly what Westneat describes.

In fact, only 11,742 have purchased private health care plans in the state.

Factor in the 290,000 Washingtonians who have lost their healthcare plans because of Obamacare and you have a huge net loss. There are now 278,258 more Washingtonians without insurance than before the push to socialize healthcare.

That's troubling.

Even more troubling is this. SHIFT says:

"Our state’s governor and our health exchange officials don’t seem to care about the loss caused by their flawed health care law. They prefer to hide reality by playing with numbers. They prefer to preserve a failing health care agenda at the expense of the people they swear to serve. As Washington State realizes a complete overhaul of its health care structure, hundreds of thousands are confronted with canceled insurance plans, higher monthly payments, and/or higher deductibles. Washingtonians deserve the chance to tackle these challenges fully informed of the obstruction we face. Washingtonians deserve transparent leadership that seeks to serve the best interests of the people as opposed to the interest of a highly partisan political agenda."

I agree.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Pro-Active. Be Blessed.