April Fool's Day ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers
This is the perfect day to receive Obama administration claims of success in ObamaCare enrollment. "No one expected us to come back from the brink…but we have," claims Jay Carney, following a script that could have been written by one of the Hollywood screenwriters being massaged by Valerie Jarrett to propagandize their audiences on ObamaCare.
Politico offers the party line:
The first open enrollment season of Obamacare ended at midnight Monday, a day that saw millions of Americans click onto Obamacare sign-up portals, dial into call centers and stand in long lines at assistance sites nationwide. The huge surge made it increasingly likely that enrollment would hit 7 million, the finish line that seemed out of reach during much of the often rocky six-month period.
Shortly after 10 p.m., the Associated Press cited two sources that said sign-ups were “on track” to hit 7 million. Administration officials wouldn’t confirm the number but said that signs were pointing in that direction.
All of the numbers being delivered to us are soft as a grape. But for low information voters, they will do the trick. Hurray! Plucky little ObamaCare fought against the big bad Republicans who tried to sabotage it, and in the end, with a last minute surge powered by Americans desperate for the care that only a messiah like Obama could offer, compassion triumphed.
Debunking this tale requires a little hard analysis, and that is beyond the capabilities and attention spans of a large share of the public. Nevertheless, it can and must be done. Mark Thiessen of the Washington Post raises some of the key questions. How many of the people counted as “signed up” have actually paid? Nobody knows (or so we are told).
...the number that matters is not how many Americans signed up for Obamacare but rather how many previously uninsured Americans signed up for Obamacare. By that standard, Obamacare may be headed for an epic failure.
Recall that between 5 million and 6 million Americans lost their health plans because of Obamacare last fall. If the administration now succeeds in signing up 5 million to 6 million previously insured Americans, it will have achieved . . .nothing. Breaking even is no great accomplishment.
And let’s not forget: Many of those new Obamacare sign-ups are self-sufficient people who were previously paying their own way and now receive government subsidies for insurance. Creating government dependency is not progress — it’s a step backward.
The stated goal of Obamacare was not to move millions of privately insured Americans into taxpayer-subsidized health coverage. The goal was to cover the uninsured. That was the justification for all the chaos and disruption Americans have experienced….
Wynton Hall at Breitbart does some calculations based on the data so far released by the Obama administration:
McKinsey & Co. says that only 27% of those who have picked a plan through Obamacare were previously uninsured.
Moreover, McKinsey says these individuals have an unusually high rate of failing to pay their first month's premium. "Only 53 percent of them had paid their first premium, compared with 86 percent of the previously insured," reports CNBC.
Even conceding the White House its alleged six million enrollment figure (which, again, includes duplicates and incomplete applications), that would mean that just 810,000 of paying Obamacare customers were previously uninsured, a figure that represents 1.7% of America's 48.6 million uninsured people.
So we have turned the medical care system of the United States on its head at the cost of billions of dollars (trillions in the course of a decade) , and all we got was 1.7% of the uninsured covered.
Given the political stakes for Democrats and the Obama administration, I don’t expect hard, reliable numbers to be made available any time before November. Maybe even November 2016.