The survey that House Republicans used to conclude that only 67 percent of HealthCare.gov enrollees had paid their first premium appears designed to yield an unfavorable result — at least that’s the perception of one of the people whose company was asked to respond to it.
“The survey was so incredibly rigged to produce this result, it was a joke,” a source, whose company received it and who provided it to TPM, said. “Everyone who saw it knew exactly what the goal was.”
The survey included language that explicitly left out the fact some people would still have time to pay their premium after April 15, which is when the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked companies to return their answers.
The GOP survey simply asked companies for the number of enrollees who paid their first premium and the number who have not — but it did not account for the fact that some people in the latter group could still pay until at least April 30.
Nearly 40 percent of Obamacare enrollees signed up after March 15 — which means their first premium wasn’t due until after the committee finished collecting its data. The GOP’s 67 percent figure was therefore founded on bad math: It accounted for all enrollees, but it demanded figures be compiled more than two weeks before the actual deadline for many people to make their payments.
Republicans held the 67 percent finding up this week against the Obama administration’s victory lap when the law surpassed 8 million figures. TPM’s source concluded that the House survey was specifically designed to undermine the law’s recent run of good news.
“They were clearly trying to get a specific result to rebut any positive news about enrollment,” the source said. “If they were really trying to get full data, they would have waited until early May for the answers.”
A House Energy and Commerce Committee spokesperson confirmed that the survey provided to TPM was the same one used by the committee. A copy of the survey is below.