|FARGO – The Obama administration asked North Dakota’s largest health insurer not to publicize how many people have signed up for health insurance through a new online exchange, a company official says.
During a Monday forum in Fargo for people interested in signing up for coverage via the exchange, James Nichol of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota told the crowd his company received the request from the federal government earlier Monday. Nichol is a consumer sales manager for the company.
Still, a spokeswoman from Blue Cross Blue Shield says about 14 North Dakotans have signed up for coverage since the federal exchange went live Oct. 1. That brings total statewide enrollment to 20 – less than one a day.
Spokeswoman Andrea Dinneen said Tuesday that while Blue Cross generally does not release its internal sales numbers, it has in this case because the problematic rollout of the federal health care exchange is a “unique situation.”
Dinneen said she didn’t have any information about the directive that Nichol referenced Monday night.
In the spirit of bipartisanship HHS will brief Congress-Democrats only on the lack of progress of the President's stellar signature legislation.
Mike Hash, who directs the Office of Health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, will brief House Democrats Wednesday about implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The closed-door session, which will start at 8:50 a.m., marks the first time the administration will have briefed members of Congress on the online enrollment system since its troubled rollout on Oct. 1.
Presumably only Democrats need to know what the hell is going on in government. Don't expect Secretary Sebilius to have an easy time when she appears before Congress.
Update: Obamacare enrollment in North Dakota has surged to 16.