Carney On Misleading Obamacare Quotes: They Seem Expensive Because Subsidies Aren't Included


MAJOR GARRETT, CBS NEWS: Picking up on something that was discussed here yesterday and maybe get a little more specific -- the new feature that has been added to the website where if you put in your zip code you get an estimate of your costs. As we understand it, if you are 50 and older you get an estimate for someone who is 50-years-old and if you're 49 and under -- those are the two categories, broadly, on the federal website -- you get an estimate of someone who is 27-years-old. If you go deeper in the process you can often find from that estimate a much larger actual premium cost because you could be older and older people require higher premiums. Is that something that you're going to keep? Do you find that there is anything that's deceptive or less than clear or candid in that consumer experience that you are trying to provide?

JAY CARNEY: That is a great question and let me make clear two things. One, these are estimates. We are just trying to provide basic information in an easily accessible way. The idea that we're trying to mislead people about costs is belied entirely by the irrefutable fact that premiums were published and provided to the public prior to October 1st, and those premiums for the plans were published without subsidies attached to them. So in other words, they seemed much more expensive for most individuals than the cost would actually be.

So -- but, in terms of making improvements to the website, you know, moving his feature into a place that is more accessible for average users so that they can window shop with the changes they've made -- specifically, I don't know the changes they will make but I am sure they will try to make the user experience better. One thing that's important to note is in terms of the volume that we have seen, the volume -- because there could be some assertion that making this feature available has affected or has something to do with the technological problems that existed, the volume we've seen that began on October 1st was roughly 30% browsers and 70% potential enrollees or applicants. Since this feature was added, that percentage breakdown has not changed.

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