The Obama administration's overcounting of the number of people enrolled in Affordable Care Act health plans reveals how all the glitches in the government's computer system have yet to be worked out.
Instead of the 7.3 million people that the government reported were enrolled in health insurance plans in September, congressional investigators discovered that the number was 6.97 million. A more recent estimate of 7.1 million should have been 6.7 million, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services, acknowledged Thursday.
The story behind the misstatements highlights the significance of continuing problems with invisible parts of the health law's enrollment system, and the challenges the administration is likely to face in reporting enrollment numbers in the months ahead.
The inaccuracy, first reported Thursday by Bloomberg News, resulted when administration officials included enrollment in stand-alone dental plans in its count of people covered by the law. According to the department, 393,000 people had signed up for both types of plans, and thus were double-counted.