Government Watch

The ObamaCare Enrollment Myth

by Stephanie Vogel and Caroline Rayburn –

President Barack Obama addressed a small crowd in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday to discuss an April Fools’ Day joke four years in the making: a self-proclaimed “victory” for ObamaCare.  According to the White House, 7.1 million Americans have successfully signed up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges at the end of the first open enrollment period.  Unfortunately for the Obama Administration, the numbers don’t tell the whole story.  The White House has failed to provide any depth to the 7.1 million ACA enrollment figure it released this week, and if we put this number into context, it reveals startling new information about who’s really covered – or not covered –under ObamaCare.

Prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, there were said to be about 50 million Americans without health insurance.  President Obama relied heavily on this figure in 2009 when he worked to sell this legislation to the American people, touting its noble purpose: to insure the uninsured.  For ObamaCare to be successful, though, it would have to expand access to health care to those who didn’t have it before by offering government-subsidized coverage – made possible by mandating all Americans to purchase insurance or pay a penalty.  Of the White House’s 7.1 million individuals enrolled, then, it would be reasonable to assume that the vast majority were previously uninsured, right?  Not so fast.

While the White House is not releasing any concrete data as of yet, a study by the RAND Corporation suggests that only 24% of those enrolled in ObamaCare were previously uninsured.[1]  This startling number means that the overwhelming majority (76%) of those signed up for ObamaCare already had insurance and either opted to switch due to more affordable ACA-subsidized premiums or because the health plans they liked and preferred were cancelled when the law took effect.  (Remember, about 5 million individual health plans were cancelled by ObamaCare in the fall of 2013.)

In another recent survey conducted by McKinsey, a leading management consulting firm, the group found that coverage through ObamaCare remains too expensive for millions of uninsured Americans.  Of the 2,096 individuals surveyed, McKinsey reported that 50% of respondents cited that they “could not afford to pay the [ACA] premium.”[2]  The sad reality is that despite the drastic changes to the health care system, mass confusion and outrage over cancelled health plans, and a trillion dollar price tag over the course of the next 10 years, the Affordable Care Act has only insured a tiny fraction of its target population.

Obama’s speech on Tuesday paid no attention to these crucial details, however, and instead criticized those who have spent enormous amounts of time and effort combating the law, saying that the “debate over repealing this law is over.”  Additionally, the president mocked the idea that critics can try to repeal ObamaCare “without offering any plausible alternative,” despite the fact that a number of Republican representatives and senators have actually introduced market-based, alternative legislation like the “Empowering Patients First Act,” the “American Health Care Reform Act,” and the “Patient CARE Act.”

Instead, Obama praised the Affordable Care Act for giving Americans “the economic security of health insurance” that they deserve.  The ACA may help a small sliver of the population in the short run, but what lies ahead will be anything but economic and personal security.  Conservatives continue to embrace a free-market approach to health care – one that will enable competitive forces to drive down the cost of coverage and enable individuals to tailor plans to suit their health needs and concerns.  For now, however, ObamaCare is here to stay, and the coming months will play a critical role in determining if the administration will be successful in attracting the uninsured to enroll in ACA plans.

Let’s hope the April Fools’ joke isn’t on the American people in the end.

 



[1] Roy, Avik. “RAND: Only One-Third of Obamacare Exchange Sign-Ups Were From The Previously Uninsured.” Mar. 31, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/03/31/rand-only-one-third-of-obamacare-exchange-sign-ups-were-from-the-previously-uninsured/.

[2] Roy, Avik. “McKinsey: Only 14% of Obamacare Exchange Sign-Ups Are Previously Uninsured Enrollees.” Mar. 8, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/03/08/mckinsey-only-14-of-obamacare-exchange-sign-ups-are-previously-uninsured-enrollees/.

 

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A naturalized born American
6 years ago

Somebody ought to arrest terrorist Barry Obama and deport him back to Kenya were he belongs with all of his Muslim buddies . That would be the greatest day in American history.

C.W. Galbraith
6 years ago

How can anyone with a basic understanding of math think Osama care is working ? 30 – 40 million uninsured before the law , 4-6 million lost insurance after the law passed , right ? Then 6 – 7.1 million signed up , that still leaves 28 – 38 million uninsured . Am I missing something here ???? This whole thing is a clusterf_ _ k …..

GEORGE MICHALSKI NORTHLAKE
6 years ago

ALL OSAMA OBAMAS BULLSHIT HAS BEEN TRIED AND FAILED RIP USSR !

Al Davis
6 years ago

Obama is relying on 30 million to 50 million illegal aliens to sign on to his signature no-health-care plan. We must not allow the House to move forward on the amnesty bill. If that passes, we may as well start looking for another country to move to because they will all become citizens overnight by some Executive action and Dems will never lose another election. I predict violence in the streets if the amnesty bill passes and the truth comes out.

Gary
6 years ago

I haven’t signed up for this obamanation of a law, and never will. Yet I had to come up with $320 for my annual physical this year, which is usually free! That is $320 of after tax money! This thing has long reaching tentacles! Time to sharpen the old axe.

John Maloney
6 years ago

no one has mentioned the fact that the in incarcerated in our prison systems have been signed up in many states, this also accounts for millions which we the taxpayer will have to pay for this unaffordable ACA, why is the media, the press and Hollywood pretending this deplorable socialist healthcare act is good for this wonderful country, this issue must be addressed now, we need to let our senators and congress know we mean action

Charles Williams
6 years ago

Figures don’t lie, but liars figure!

Jim Robb
6 years ago

Edward Keller, I agree with your comments and would like to add this: Could the reason no politician is standing up to Obama and the Democrats be they are being paid a kings ransom for keeping their mouth shut ? After all, does anyone know of any politician who leaves office as poor as they came in ? Didn’t think so, and that is exactly why every “career” incumbent politician must be tossed out in November, and every subsequent election until all the thieves are gone.

Richard Davies
6 years ago

The country’s biggest fool, on April Fool’s day, trying to convince a whole lot of other fools of his lies.

Rick B.
6 years ago

Bait & switch.

CAPT Mike
6 years ago

Controlling healthcare cost was NEVER about the cost…..it was about CONTROL.

Mike
6 years ago

Obama and his “care” are a monumental FRAUD… FRAUD: An INTENTIONAL PERVERSION OF TRUTH for the purpose of inducing another in reliance upon it to part with some valuable thing belonging to him or to surrender a legal right. A FALSE REPRESENTATION OF A MATTER OF FACT, whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives and is intended to deceive another so that he shall act upon it to his legal injury. Anything CALCULATED TO DECEIVE, whether by a single act or combination, or by… Read more »

Janet G
6 years ago

I know a lot of people who enrolled, got their user ID, and did not enroll as the plans were not affordable, high out of pocket expense, and just not doable. What a farce is this health care program. Voted into existing law with most of Congress never reading the bill. What a shame.

Norman Witzler
6 years ago

Anyone remember why the democrats forced obummercare on us despite the fact that most did not want it? Wasn’t it supposed to lower costs, increase access, and raise the quality of medical care? Despite being 0 for 3 on those points, we have the added benefits of millions of lost jobs, fewer doctors, higher taxes, bigger nanny government, and a lower standard of living for the working middle class. I guess that is progress in libtard land.

Rik
6 years ago

Enrollment myth? … What about Obama is not a myth? …

Will we even have a United States of America left after his 8 years of destruction? … Push for IMPEACHMENT NOW !!!

Has there ever been a President caught in so many lies? … and yet his “smiling face” is all over my tv screen lying about something … I can’t bear listening anymore … He makes my blood pressure boil !!!

Edward Keller
6 years ago

The Obama health care wagon wheels are coming off fast. Any one can fudge numbers to include welfare enrollees to make up 7 million signed up. There is no way of knowing how many people have paid their premiums. Obama never cared about the sign ups. His objective is to do away with health care insurers so we would all be under a single payer. His socialistic agenda is working. He has caused millions to loose their health insurance, 92 million people are out of work, and over 50 million are on welfare. Obama makes Hitler look like a boy… Read more »

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