HHS: 'Not quite sure where' 7M ObamaCare pledge came from

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusBiden seeks to use the bully pulpit he has on COVID-19 Biden unveils COVID-19 task force Biden's COVID-19 crisis team takes shape as virus rages MORE declined on three consecutive occasions Tuesday to say the Obama administration would meet the original goal of having 7 million people signed up for ObamaCare by March 31.


In an interview with HuffPostLive, moderator Marc Lamont Hill directly asked Sebelius three times in a row if 7 million people will have enrolled in ObamaCare by the time open enrollment for 2014 ends.

After dodging the first two times, Sebelius sought to diminish the importance of the figure.

“First of all, 7 million was not the administration,” Sebelius said. “That was a CBO, Congressional Budget Office, prediction when the bill was first signed. I’m not quite sure where they even got their number. Their number’s all over the board, and you know, the vice president has looked and said it may be closer to five to six. I’m more interested in what we are doing today: getting the word out to target populations.”

HHS has said 3.3 million people selected a healthcare plan under ObamaCare through January, and enrollment has been on the upswing since HealthCare.gov began working properly in December.

Still, the administration initially embraced the CBO’s estimate, which appear increasingly unlikely in the aftermath of the botched website launch.

Last week, Vice President Biden said 5 million or 6 million would be “a hell of a start.”

The healthcare law is not solely dependent on the number of users who sign up, but rather the mix of healthy and unhealthy participants. However, amid a dearth of information about the law, enrollment figures have become one of the primary gauges as to how the rollout is going.