Oops! Administration Erred on Health Law Sign-Ups

WASHINGTON (AP) -

The Obama administration acknowledged it has been over-reporting the number of people signed up under the health care law, a discrepancy that congressional Republicans seeking to repeal the program say they uncovered.

It’s another credibility problem for the administration after video surfaced recently of former White House adviser Jonathan Gruber suggesting that deception was used to pass President Barack Obama’s signature law.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell called the latest lapse “unacceptable.”

“The mistake we made is unacceptable,” Burwell said on social media. “I will be communicating that clearly throughout the [department.]”

Administration spokesman Aaron Albright said that the overcount involved about 400,000 people.

Those consumers have separate dental coverage in addition to a medical plan, and were double-counted by mistake, said Albright. They had purchased both the medical and dental plans through HealthCare.gov and state insurance markets created under the law.

That means the correct number of people enrolled for medical coverage as of Oct. 15 is about 6.7 million, not the 7.1 million that Burwell has been citing.

The discrepancy was uncovered by Republican investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, poring over sign-up spreadsheets.