The Obamacare Numbers My Inquiring Mind Wants to Know
I am one of the apparently many Americans whose existing health insurance policies have been cancelled due to Obamacare and who have had to search out new policies as a result. My new policy has an increase -- and not the so sonorously promised decrease -- in monthly premiums from $450 to $700 in order to provide the pregnancy and childbirth coverage my previous policy lacked, coverage that I consider a rather unnecessary luxury for a 61-year-old woman. For the mathematically and biologically challenged, that comes to $3000 per year additional cost for coverage I have not got a chance in hell to use.
Along with the rest of you, I have observed the horrendous rollout of Obamacare and heard the demands from conservatives for information about the number of people who have actually managed to sign up for Obamacare through the exchanges. My wishes are a bit different, however, based on the experiences of those of us who have lost policies and are now trying to replace them. The Obamacare numbers I want to see are not merely how many have signed up for healthcare through the exchanges. I want to know how many people have lost their coverage due to Obamacare and how many new enrollees are merely those who are trying to replace lost coverage.
The moment that the Obama administration deigns to inform us how many people have actually received insurance through the exchanges, questions need to be raised. First, we need to be certain that we are being told how many people have obtained actual policies through the exchanges, and not merely how many have visited the healthcare.gov website, or how many have begun opening accounts, or how many have started applications, or how many have submitted applications to insurers.
Secondly, and even more importantly, we need to make certain that we demand to know how many of these new policies have gone to the newly insured and how many are merely replacements for the lower cost policies that Obamacare has caused us to lose. When we hear how many people have received policies through the exchanges, we do not want to be duped into thinking -- or allow the Obama administration to claim -- that all of these new policy holders are joyous citizens who have finally managed to obtain insurance that up to now has been out of their grasp.
I suspect that a rather large percentage of the new policies granted through the Obamacare exchanges will be going to less than joyous citizens who have been forced by this administration to replace lost affordable plans with much less affordable ones.