The Morning Plum: White House Braces For Terrible Obamacare Enrollment Numbers

This comes after Mr. Obama has been put on the defensive by reports that several million Americans are getting cancellation letters, even as a new insurance marketplace is rolling out under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Legislation similar to the House bill has been proposed in the Senate, and is supported by some Democrats. RECOMMENDED: How much do you know about health-care reform? Take our quiz! Even if the legislation were to pass and be signed into law, however, its not clear that it would resolve the challenge that many Americans now face. The House bill, for one, doesnt require that insurance providers reinstate cancelled policies. It merely allows them to do so. A Senate bill backed by Mary Landrieu (D) of Louisianawould impose such a requirement. But, whether the shift is voluntary or mandated, rolling back the clock isnt easy.

Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, met last month with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and domestic policy adviser Cecilia Munoz. Conservatives in the White House meeting said one suggestion was to reach out to Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), but White House officials were blank. It didnt come across that they were really clear on who they should talk to, one of the meeting participants said. They didnt say anything that would lead us to believe they have a plan. When the White House sought a meeting with House Republicans to discuss immigration reform strategy last month, it didnt invite Reps. Jeff Denham and David Valadao of California, among the most vocal advocates in the conference for comprehensive immigration reform. The pair have been working privately with other GOP lawmakers on legalization bills. It later rescinded an invitation to one pro-reform Republican eager to meet with the White House, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, and that meeting has yet to be rescheduled, according to his office. And at least two Texas Republicans rejected the White House overtures: Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul and, according to a GOP source, Rep.

White House seeks Republican immigration help

The White House, left, and U.S. Capitol are shown in a composite. | AP Photos

Of course, the flip side here is that even if it proves logistically impossible to share the numbers of those who have purchased a plan, foes of the law will ignore this and allege a cover-up and conspiracy in any case. According to reports, the initial tally of enrollees however they are being counted is in the neighborhood of 40,000, far short of the 500,000 initially projected. The administration has not confirmed this number. That aside, as Jonathan Cohn notes in a good overview , initial enrollment numbers were always going to be low, and what really matters is whether the pattern we saw in Massachusetts a huge number of late sign-ups towards the end holds here. Lets face it,the spin war over initial low enrollment figures just doesnt matter that much. Because the story here is the same as it always was: All that matters is whether the policy works in the long run.

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