Healthcare

O-Care adviser: 7M ‘was never our target number’

White House adviser Phil Schiliro downplayed an earlier projection of 7 million 2014 ObamaCare signups on Tuesday and said the administration was working hard to overcome problems with insurance applications.

The comments come ahead of Wednesday’s start date for insurance for those who signed up before Dec. 24, a deadline that had been extended.

{mosads}In February, well before the technological problems that marred the rollout of the law, the Congressional Budget Office projected that 7 million people would enroll through the exchanges in 2014.

“That was never our target number,” Schiliro said Tuesday on MSNBC, pointing out it was from the CBO, not the administration.

“There’s no magic to the 7 million,” he added. “What there is magic to is that in the month of December a million Americans signed up for insurance.”

In September, an administration memo used 7 million people as a target for projecting the pace of signups.

“That was because it came from the Congressional Budget Office, and it had become an accepted number,” Schiliro said.

The same memo projected 3.3 million people would have signed up through the exchanges by now. The latest numbers from the administration put the actual number around 2 million, leading to some debate about whether 7 million signups is attainable in 2014.

There are also problems with faulty enrollment data being sent to insurers. Schiliro said he was unable to give the number of enrollments that had problems.

“I cannot give you a percentage,” he said. “What I can tell you is the population that people have been concerned about have all been contacted. They’ve been contacted by the federal government, they’ve been contacted by the insurers, in some cases two or three times.”

In early December, the administration estimated that one in four applications in October and November had problems, saying the number had since been lowered to 10 percent.

Schiliro emphasized a toll-free number, 1-800-318-2596, that people can call if there is a problem with their new insurance.

Schiliro came back to the administration in early December to oversee the rollout of the law, in a move seen as bringing in new hands to overcome the troubled start.

Tags ObamaCare Phil Schiliro

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