Sarah Kliff Forced to Perform Another ObamaCare 'Oops!'


Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post has been forced to perform yet another ObamaCare Oops!

When last we encountered the Polyanna ObamaCare cheerleader Kliff she was claiming that young people were among the more enthusiastic ObamaCare shoppers based on evidence that ranged from nil to none. This empty claim came on the heels of her previous ObamaCare Oops when Kliff, after hailing one Chad Henderson of Georgia for supposedly enrolling in ObamaCare, was forced to backtrack the very next day after Peter Suderman of Reason performed some real journalism and discovered that Chad's "success" story was false. You would think Ms Kliff would have learned from her tragically funny experience but noooooo. She has now made an error of such proportions that basically involves thousands of Chad Hendersons. Here is Kliff last Thursday happily announcing that "ObamaCare just cut Oregon's uninsured rate by 10 percent":

Though the Oregon's health insurance exchange is not yet up and running, the number of uninsured is already dropping thanks to new fast-track enrollment for the Oregon Health Plan.

The low-income, Medicaid-funded program has already signed up 56,000 new people, cutting the state's number of uninsured by 10 percent, according to Oregon Health Authority officials.

If you noticed something strange in the statement above, you would not be alone. Here is Kliff the very next day publicly performing yet another ObamaCare Oops:

Yesterday I wrote about Oregon's big success signing people up for Obamacare: The state had, in the course of 17 days, signed up 56,000 people for the health law's Medicaid expansion. In one fell swoop, the state had cut its uninsured rate by 10 percent.

That is, however, only part of the story from Oregon. When it comes to private insurance, spokeswoman Amy Fauver said that it has not yet had any sign-ups.


Perhaps Kliff could have spared herself this latest embarrassment had she first consulted with David Freddoso who wrote on the failure of many in the media to distinguish between ObamaCare enrollments and Medicaid expansion:

How many people have tried to sign up for Obamacare? How many have completed the process?

Those numbers are important, but let’s keep something else in mind here — there’s another important number that a lot of publications are failing to separate out. That is, how many people are enrolling in the private insurance plans within the Obamacare exchanges — as opposed to those applying who report very low incomes and get steered into the Medicaid program?

I haven’t been able to find a copy of the memo the AP obtained on this topic, but when the administration set its goal of 500,000 enrollments this month, it appears they meant the exchanges only — in which case they’re likely to miss it badly.

Freddoso even specifically referred to Kliff's erroneous conflation of ObamaCare enrollments with Medicaid expansion:

Yesterday, The Washington Post suggested that at least 185,000 people have signed up for Obamacare:. That sounds promising for the program even if it’s still well short of the pace needed to meet the goals. And then Oregon has just reported 56,000 enrollments. So isn’t everything going just fine?

In fact, no. When you see state enrollment numbers, you have to ask yourself this question: How many of those people are actually becoming Obamacare private insurance exchange customers, as opposed to people who (1) were always eligible but are just signing up for Medicaid for the first time, and (2) people who are newly eligible for Medicaid under the expanded coverage thresholds in some states?

In Oregon, that 56,000 number you’re hearing today is all Medicaid. Their online exchange doesn’t even work yet. The state bulked up its Medicaid rolls by targeting food stamp recipients. So great, those folks have some kind of insurance (whether or not a doctor will see them), but it tells us nothing about the private health insurance exchanges — the middle class version of Obamacare — or how they’re going to fare.

The question your humble correspondent would like answered is did Kliff slap her forehead after reading Freddoso's correction as hard as she did when Suderman corrected her?

Meanwhile the NewsBusters Eye of Sauron will continue to remain focused on Sarah Kliff.

Washington Post ObamaCare Sarah Kliff
P.J. Gladnick's picture