Where Are the Obamacare Numbers?

The data on Obamacare usage is obviously available – why won't the administration share it?

By SHARE
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The Obama administration isn't taking seriously the exigency for publishing Healthcare.gov's usage statistics. It ignores the fact that this data will quiet the speculation that is dominating the Affordable Care Act conversation.

This morning, during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the Obamacare disaster, Marilyn Tavenner, chief administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, stonewalled questions about the number of Healthcare.gov registrations and enrollments and the demographics of the site's visitors.

At one point, she fell into a fugue state when Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., asked about how often she receives usage reports. She responded as though he had just asked her how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Obamacare.]

This data is obviously available now. It's a standard practice for developers to build measurement and reporting functionality into websites. Although the Department of Health and Human Services may have designed Healthcare.gov with crayons, it's unacceptable for it to wait until mid-November to give the public a tangible understanding of the problem.

What are we to infer from Tavenner's stonewalling? The problem is much larger than reported? Tavenner doesn't know how to open Excel? Regardless, openness is yet another good governance principle that the Obama administration has rendered to the Isle of Forgotten Dreams.

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