Politicians Lie By Default. They Lie Even When The Truth Is Easy To Check. Haven't We Figured That Out Yet?

Via Reason's Hit and Run

In the opening days of Obamacare’s October 1 launch, federal officials touted high web-traffic numbers, but repeatedly refused to provide enrollment data for the federally facilitated exchanges.

On October 3, White House spokesperson Jay Carney, pressed for enrollment numbers, said, “No, we don’t have that data.” On October 7, in an appearance on the Daily Show, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius repeated the claim when questioned about enrollment: “I can’t tell you,” she said, “because I don’t know.”

But that simply wasn’t true—at least not during the first few days.

Leaked meeting notes from high-level war room briefings inside the federal health bureaucracy on October 2 and October 3 report that federal officials were aware of the exact number of federal enrollees on the first and second days in which the exchanges were running.

And, as seemed likely at the time, it turns out that the numbers were very, very low.

According to the notes, which were released by the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform and taken from daily briefings in the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, the federal office directly in charge of the exchanges, there were just six successful enrollments across the 36 federal exchanges on launch day.

A friend by the way sent me this stat:  Of the 5 million first day exchange visitors, more will be hit by lightening this year than successfully enrolled that day

  • roxpublius

    better for a politician to lie than to have a soundbite floating around admitting some kind of failure or other embarrassment.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    "Politicians Lie By Default. They Lie Even When The Truth Is Easy To Check. Haven't We Figured That Out Yet?"

    The problem is not so much the people haven't figured that out yet, the problem is that even knowing this the vast majority of people want to believe.

  • HenryBowman419

    The reason that politicians and Administration bureaucrats continue to lie consistently is simple: there are very few adverse consequences for doing so. Consider James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence. He blatantly lied to Congress, and everyone realized it shortly thereafter. Was he fired or even admonished? No. Obama consistently and repeatedly blatantly lies. Congress can do little about this, but certainly the press could. It does not. Timothy Geithner plainly and obviously flat-out lied during his Senate confirmation testimony. He was still confirmed.

    The moral is simple: lying is an effective tool at times for politicians and bureaucrats, with little downside. Therefore they will continue to lie.

  • Not Sure

    The problem is not so much the people haven't figured that out yet, the problem is that even knowing this the vast majority of people don't mind it when the guy they support is the one telling the lies.

  • jdt

    I bet I could get six hits in MLB if I was given 5 million plate appearances. I'll get on the phone with Ben Cherington to see if the Red Sox are interested in my services.