Jay Carney Again Dodges Question on Obamacare Enrollment


White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has been more the happy to report on the number of people visiting the Obamacare exchanges but still has not been able to release an exact number of how many people that have actually enrolled in the exchanges.

Below is a transcript of the exchange:

Q: And do you have an estimate on how many people have attempted to access the website for the health care?

MR. CARNEY: Let me see — I — let me see what facts and figures I have.

As of now, I still have — in the first 72 hours, healthcare.gov had over 8.6 million unique visitors.

As you know, there were seven times more users on the marketplace website that first morning than have ever been on the Medicare.gov site at one time.

Q: But you still don’t know how many people have signed up?

MR. CARNEY: We — I’m glad you asked that question, because I want to be clear about it. When it comes to enrollment data — you know, I want to clear this up — we will release data on regular monthly intervals, just like was done in Massachusetts and just like what was done in and is done when it comes to Medicare Part D.

What I can confirm right now is that people are signing up through federal exchanges, but we’re not going to be — you know, we’re — this is a(n) aggregation process, and we’re not going to release data on an hourly or daily or weekly basis. We’ll follow models that have existed in previous programs, including a similar program in Massachusetts, including Medicare Part D, which is the most recent federal example of this kind of thing, and release enrollment data on regularly monthly intervals.

Q: So you can give us numbers of traffic, how many people go to the website, but not how many people —

MR. CARNEY: Again, this is — these are — these are — this is large volume. There’s no question that there’s large volume. And we’re — and these are rough estimates about the volume. One of the reasons why we’ve been able to — or why we’ve provided the information about the volume is because — that it is the principal reason why we’ve had slowdowns and other issues that we’ve had to try to resolve to make the consumer experience better.