WH celebrates 4 million enrollees in program that forces everyone to join
As I've written previously, the "news" that so many million Americans have signed up for Obamacare is meaningless. It's the law. If you don't sign up, you pay a fine. Why this is considered a big deal - 4 million Obamacare enrollees - is a function of politics, not reality.
Approximately 4 million people have purchased insurance through the ObamaCare exchanges, President Obama told volunteers at an Organizing for Action summit in Washington on Tuesday.
“We now have more than 4 million Americans who have signed up for quality, affordably health insurance,” Obama said. “Four million. That's on top of the 3 million young people who have been able to get covered staying on their parents plan… you've already made sure people all across America are getting better coverage.”
The announcement, which came with just five weeks left in the early enrollment period, means some 700,000 have enrolled in ObamaCare so far in February. Earlier this month, the Obama administration said just under 3.3 million people had selected coverage through the end of January.
But the number of people who have actually purchased coverage is likely significantly lower. Analysts estimate that as many as 20 percent of enrollees haven’t paid their first month's premium, meaning roughly 800,000 of that 4 million do not actually have insurance coverage.
Moreover, the enrollment numbers raise doubt on whether the administration will reach original Congressional Budget Office projections of enrolling 7 million in the initial enrollment period. (That projection was downgraded to 6 million following the early troubles with the ObamaCare website.) Consumers must purchase coverage before March 31 or wait until the enrollment period reopens toward the end of the year.
Earlier this month, Vice President Biden acknowledged a “shaky” rollout of the law and said the administration might miss its enrollment targets.
“We may not get to seven million, we may get to five or six, but that's a hell of a start,” Biden said.
Obama told attendees at the OFA event that the slow start was due to glitches with the ObamaCare website.
“Let’s face it, the website didn’t work for the first month,” Obama said.
He also accused opponents of the law of spending “hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars, to spread misinformation.”
“A lot of people who could really use this coverage are unsure,” Obama said, asking volunteers to help spread the word. He asked supporters to rally those who might not like him personally or “watch the wrong newscast.”
Yes - only administration approved newscasts should be watched, not the "wrong" ones.
Obamacare will apparently limp along, wreaking havoc on people's lives. It's going to cost Democrats at the polls in November - but not as much as it could have without the president's legislative legerdemain. The public might howl in protest, but Obama won't listen. This is his claim on history and they will have to pry the law from his cold hands before he gives it up.