Investigation Reveals Inslee Administration Engaged in Obamacare Coverup

Emails between Administration officials. Click to expand.

Administration Officials Mislead Public

Emails between Administration officials. Click to expand.

Emails between Administration officials. Click to expand.

According to emails acquired by a public records request, Governor Jay Inslee’s office, leaders from Washington State’s Health Benefit Exchange (HBE) and the Office of the Insurance Commissioner scrambled to deliberately mislead the public with skewed or withheld enrollee numbers during the first week of the exchange launch. Inslee’s office pushed to release figures only from the exchange’s third day— presumably because the accumulated enrollment number of the first week presented a dismal outlook on the future of the exchange.

HBE Communications Director Michael Marchand advocated for a strict release of traffic numbers on the exchange website. Delaying the release of enrollment numbers until they looked better would tamp down public criticism. Inslee’s team seemed dubious of that plan, with Ruth Schubert from the Governor’s Office writing, “Page views aren’t going to do it.”

For the Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner, suspending criticism required combining the Medicaid enrollment number with the bleak individual health care enrollment number. The high Medicaid enrollment numbers would offset the lack of individual plan enrollees. Officials eventually chose to hide behind a veil of secrecy. No numbers were released during the first week of the state’s Obamacare exchange.

Officials Mislead Press

Email's showing Michael Marchand mislead Westneat. Click to expand.

Emails showing Michael Marchand misled Westneat. Click to expand.

Top officials from the HBE took the deception a step further in the second week of enrollment when they engaged in deliberate methods to skew enrollment numbers released to the media. Evidence suggests that HBE Communications Director Micheal Marchand provided Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat with inflated and skewed enrollment numbers. In an email exchange with Marchand on October 8 a staff member wrote, “[Danny Westneat] called me and just wanted some quick clarification on the numbers we provided yesterday.”

Later the same day, the Seattle Times released a column by Westneat entitled “Obamacare is here, GOP, ready or not.” Westneat’s column vigorously defended Washington’s health exchange program. Westneat cites inflated enrollment projections and a high rate of expected per day enrollees as evidence to the success of Obamacare. Westneat goes as far to say that—due to the 3,000 to 4,000 per day sign-ups—“the state will be at 40,000 total and partial enrollees” by the end of week two and 60,000 or more by week three.

Westneat never reveals the ratio of Medicaid vs. individual health plan enrollees. In accordance to the Office of the Insurance Commission’s previous suggestions, Westneat cites a figure that combines Medicaid and private health plan enrollment—a deliberate attempt to skew facts in order influence public perceptions.

State Enrollment Figures Fall Far Short of Projections

We now know just how short Westneat’s projections fell from reality. At the end of week two, enrollment was at 25,000. Private health plan enrollment amounted to a mere 3,000 of that figure. By the end of week three, enrollment rose to 35,500—about half of Westneat’s projected 60,000—with 4,500 enrolled in private health plans.

The latest figures continue the trend of high Medicaid enrollment and abysmal private health plan purchasers. Of the 98,399 who have enrolled on the state exchange, only 11,742 have purchased a private health plan. Factor in the 290,000 Washingtonians who have lost their health care plans, and you have a health care system that is operating at a net loss. All in all—due to Obamacare—278,258 more Washingtonians do not enjoy the security offered by health care coverage.

Our state’s governor and our health exchange officials don’t seem care about the loss caused by their flawed health care law. They prefer to hide reality by playing with numbers. They prefer to preserve a failing health care agenda at the expense of the people they swear to serve. As Washington State realizes a complete overhaul of its health care structure, hundreds of thousands are confronted with cancelled insurance plans, higher monthly payments, and/or higher deductibles. Washingtonians deserve the chance to tackle these challenges fully informed of the obstruction we face. Washingtonians deserve transparent leadership that seeks to serve the best interests of the people as opposed to the interest of a highly partisan political agenda.

Read our follow-up article on the Health Exchange’s Communication Director ignoring reporters with hard questions.

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  • Fred

    Darn it, I wanted to hear about the death panels.

    • thegeezer

      Me too.

    • GreenCharger

      you will soon enough

  • Snuffy

    The term fraud comes to mind. Perhaps the Republicans should demand a re-vote on Obamacare. Given we now know some of the contents of this infamous act that was not read by Congress before the vote, many of the Jackasses that voted for it may have a change of mind.

    • Barb Smith

      Dreamer! Wish that could happen but like Maria Cantwell said to me …I know what is best for you!

      • Witchwindy

        Like most politicians (of both parties) she is an arrogant bitch, I write to her, Murray, and my (also female dem) Rep in the House (none of these three truly represent my best interests) nearly every day trying to remind them of the Constitutional duty to refrain from violating their oath of office and the Constitution (damn near everything they support is clearly unconstitutional), the form letters I get back (when any of them deign to respond) are so full of doublespeak and BS they nearly make me vomit. In the end that is exactly what it boils down to — they think they know better how I should live my life than I.

      • lmdk2

        Your kiddin “I HOPE” she really said that to you ????????????

  • Ruth

    thick as thieves!

  • Anton

    Disinterested media establishment. It would take too many words to report it well.

  • Nina Ammons

    Remove Inslee from office. Immediately.

    • thegeezer

      Do we have to wait that long?

  • ChronicKindness

    Our government has zero credibility anymore. Zero.

  • anon_the_mouse

    I am not surprised that Kreidler would resort to obfuscating facts to further the agenda of the Democratic machine. We really need to take that office back.

  • jenniecs

    We need a Republican Party machine (that’s GOP officials and elected politicians) with the integrity to fight for what they say they believe in. It is time for boldness, honesty with the voting public, and strong and reasonable alternatives to the tax and spend Democrats. We win tax reduction/control initiatives every time. We have the issues nailed down on our side. I am hoping that our new GOP chair will be able to make inroads into the dilemma that we have faced in this state for years: strongly voting for conservative tax initiatives while voting for liberal tax and spend Democrats. How can that be????

    • winlass

      True the Vote works in other states, but here in WA we have mail-in ballots. No ID needed & who knows how many dead people are on the rolls? How did Gregoire win for governor? Remember the “forgotten” votes in the trunk of a car about three weeks after election day? How can those recounts be legal? Then Al Franken in Minnesota used the same “election” process & people! to win by 300+ votes in a recount for US Senate. The story for Allen West in Florida sounds perfectly familiar. Anyone see a pattern here? Don’t forget the rampant fraud from 2012 when elections come around again. . .

    • Witchwindy

      What we REALLY need is more libertarians, not this stupid one party with two anti-liberty wings ruling our legislative and executive positions.

    • anon_the_mouse

      See you at Roanoke

    • Barb Smith

      People see the we have to do this for the good of the people. We have to help those unfortunates they say who are on welfare etc. We are not doing them any good,. I don’t mind helping people but I do NOT like financing their lives . It gets to be generational all that “free” money. We need jobs! We need to look at the over regulation by the EPA. I do not understand how a agency or whatever they are can have their tag on our wells. Are they going to tell us we can’t use the water from a well on our property, that we paid for eventually? They tell us we can’t plant trees on our own land near a waterway, or even clean up the debris.Then there are the other regulations chasing jobs to other countries. I sure wish the other guy had won he is a great guy & cares about this state Rob McKenna!

    • scott d

      It’s because in WA state voters decide with their heads on initiatives and with their emotions on candidates. It’s a very Libertarian state. Republicans here are made to seem like they are tied to the bible belt Republicans. Voters in King County (the only place that matters to swing a state-wide election) pick candidates to protect gay rights, women’s rights and they pick initiatives to protect their wallet.

  • lmdk2

    We didn’t need an investigation to figure this out. As soon as I saw the numbers I told the wife he was lying thru his teeth. He must have taken lessons from the liar in chief to even
    try to hang this one out there,

  • sickofitall

    It’s a rigged game, folks. It will never change.

  • katydid

    If columnist Danny Westneat “knew” about the Inslee coverup, he should be fired. Just another reason why I have not read the Seattle Times rag for years.

  • ObsidianOne

    I’m sick and tired of the Libs and their lying. We have so many people on the government dole on a local and federal level. Seriously, it’s at a tipping point and if we do not take control, we may as well expect the party of dependency to confiscate our income and spend it the way they see fit.

  • zapox6

    I enjoy your writing, but who are you? Speaking of “transparency”, I’d like to see some names on what you write? Cindy Zapotocky, Spokane WA

  • Barb Smith

    I didn’t vote for him. I looked at his background & saw the writing on the wall.He was a DC person all the way. He isn’t for the people of this state.

  • Dirt Dan

    You all act surprised. Sheeple. Wake up to the fact we have crooks running our government.

  • Sad old American

    At 72 years old I have seen it all and you know what, it the same old BS, but for some reason the “People” of this country just sit around and bitch about it. Sorry to say it will never change because the “People” are too lazy to do what needs to be done. We are, have been and always will be abused and taken advantage of by this government for the rest of our great country’s existence.

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