Obamacare enrollment for 2016 half of CBO projection in 2013
Because CBO projections are holy gospel and are never wrong.
We've heard opponents of the GOP Obamacare replacement bill continously - and tiresomely - quote the CBO report on how many Americans will lose their insurance if the bill becomes law. The CBO says 24 million people will be thrown off their insurance plans in the next 10 years.
And since the CBO is never wrong...run for your lives!
Unfortunately for opponents, the CBO is actually never right. They were spectacularly wrong in predicting the number of Obamacare enrollees when they made their original projections in 2010. In virtually every important metric they predicted, they didn't even come close.
In 2013, the CBO projected that in 2016, 245 million Americans would purchase their insurance either through healthcare.gov or the state exchanges.
The actual number, released by CMS, was 12.3 million.
"CBO has a poor record of predicting coverage," said Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. "In 2013, CBO predicted that 24 million people would be on the Obamacare exchanges, that law's health insurance marketplaces, in 2017."
Most recently, the budget office scored the Republican's replacement plan to Obamacare, the American Health Care Act, and projected that 14 million Americans would become uninsured due to the legislation.
"They haven't really said why their forecast of Affordable Care Act [ACA] enrollment was wrong," Furchtgott-Roth said, using another name for Obamacare. "So that's why their forecast of the coverage for the Republican bill is so odd."
"Here they are forecasting coverage, but they got it completely wrong under the ACA, because people didn't want to buy ACA coverage," she said.
The enrollment numbers also show fewer Americans selected an Obamacare plan this year than last. In 2016, 12.7 million Americans signed up, while 12.2 million signed up in 2017.
Federal health officials cited record signups leading up to the end of open enrollment, suggesting Americans would lose coverage under the new administration.
"Federal health officials Wednesday touted a record 6.4 million customer sign-ups on the federal Obamacare marketplace HealthCare.gov so far this open enrollment season—topping last year's pace during the same time period by 400,000 customers," CNBC reported. "And they sharply warned that insurance coverage gains under Obamacare could be lost if President-elect Donald Trump and congressional Republicans follow through on their threats to repeal the Affordable Care Act."
Democrats are pushing back against the charge that Obamacare is "imploding." Yes, that's an exaggeration. But if the program is not imploding, it's being handed its hat and shown the door.
The Kaiser Family Foundation, a pro-Obamacare organization, says that people in 5 states had only had one insurance company offering plans through the exchanges. And 9 states will offer only 2 options for health insurance. The number of healthy "young invincibles" who need to sign up for Obamacare insurance policies to stem the tidal wave of red ink for insurance companies has fallen again.
Obamacare may not be imploding. But it is certainly melting down. It is undeniably unsustainable. Democrats say just a few tweaks would fix things. If they really believe that, they are in total denial about what the rest of the American people already know; Obamacare is doomed and only massive changes can prevent a total breakdown of the health insurance industry.
The first phase of Obamacare repeal won't fix the exchanges or healthcare.gov. It probably won't result in a dramatic increase in the number of insurance companies participating. But it will begin a process that promises to get rid of Obamacare's worst aspects while making it possible for most Americans to keep their insurance plans.
The CBO has been proven wrong so many times it's a wonder anyone pays any attention to what they're predictions are anyway.