Taxpayers Have Spent $14K for Each Obamacare Enrollee So Far

By Susan Jones | December 12, 2013 | 6:21am EST

The "improved" portal. (AP Photo)

( - The fiscal conservatives at Americans for Tax Reform have crunched the Obamacare numbers released by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and here's the bottom line.

American taxpayers have paid $14,196 for each Obamacare enrollee so far.

In her testimony to Congress Wednesday, Sebelius said taxpayers have spent $677 million on the flawed website through the end of October.*

On top of that, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has spent $4.5 billion to promote Obamacare at the state level.

Sebelius told Congress that 364,682 people had "selected a plan" as of Nov. 30 -- although they won't get insurance until they pay the bill from the insurance company, assuming the insurance company gets their information from HHS.**

That means the taxpayer cost per "enrollee" is over $14,000.

Taxpayers, write this on the blackboard:

$4.5 billion + $677 million = $5,177,000,000 ÷ 364,682 = $14,196

People shopping for insurance on the exchanges must sign up by Dec. 23 if they want their coverage to begin on Jan. 1.

And that's another looming problem:

Sebelius testified that at least 1.9 million people "have made it through the application process or have been determined eligible for Medicaid, but have not yet selected a plan or made a decision. "And we expect that as more folks talk things over with their families and learn about their new options, more will enroll, sne said.

But if they all wait until Dec. 23, the website, although somewhat improved, would be overwhelmed, because it can only handle 50,000 people at a time.


* Here are Sebelius' exact words: "Congresswomen, to date, through the end of October -- and I'm giving you the cleanest audited numbers that we have -- we have obligated $677 million for the total IT costs, and have outlaid $319 million of that $677 million. Some of that includes work, clearly, in the month of October. We will give you regular updates as we have newly audited numbers."


** Rep.  Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) asked Sebelius, "Of these 364,000 Americans, do you know how many will actually have coverage in effect on January 1, 2014?"

"Sir, once they pay their premium, they'll have coverage in effect," Sebelius said. "Some may have paid, some may not. We're giving you the enrollment numbers...We are giving you the numbers of individuals who have chosen a plan."

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