Skip to comments.How many “new” Obamacare exchange enrollees were previously uninsured?
Posted on 03/31/2014 12:31:34 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Health care expert Bob Laszewski explains why the answer to this simple question should be the decisive factor in determining the relative success or failure of Obamacare:
Are enough people getting coverage who didn’t have it before to justify the sacrifices the people who were already coveredin the individual, small group, and large employer marketare making or will make? I will suggest the country will never really be able to judge how good or how bad Obamacare is until that question is answered…It’s easy to answer this question. We only need ask the carriers for two numbers:
- The number of people they insured (and were paid for) in both the individual and small group markets as of December 31, 2013the day before Obamacare started covering people.
- The number of people that were insured (and paid for) in both the individual and small group markets on a specific dateMarch 31, 2014, for example.
I will suggest that asking for both the small group and individual market numbers is important as people have a tendency to move between the markets, particularly as employers drop coverage and their people go, or don’t go, into the exchanges. Then subtract one total from the other. We would have an excellent idea of just how many more people, net of any gains and losses, secured private insurance since Obamacare’s launch. Then people could make their judgments about how well Obamacare accomplished health insurance reform free from all of the spin.
Laszewski adds that independent of the previously uninsured issue, the administration’s enrollment figures are also inflated by counting unpaid “sign ups” — an issue we’ve covered ad nauseam. The administration claims it doesn’t have access to payment delinquency stats, but that may not be true. In any case, unless and until the White House releases complete and transparent data, the public will rely on outside estimates and studies to answer core questions. So I’ll reiterate my question: How many “new” Obamacare exchange enrollees were previously uninsured? Laszewski takes a stab an answer, based on anecdotal reports he’s received from industry insiders:
My conversations with carriers suggest that about half of the enrollments come from the ranks of the previously insured. But that is just anecdotal information. I don’t have a hard number.
“Roughly half” is the most generous estimate I’ve seen. Jonathan Cohn of the liberal New Republic points to data from a small handful of states where Obamacare is working relatively well as cause for hope among the law’s supporters. But the national picture is murky — and based on three separate independent studies, the overall figures remain weak:
(1) RAND corporation – “A new study from the RAND corporation indicates that only one-third of exchange sign-ups were previously uninsured. The RAND study hasnt yet been published, but its contents were made available to Noam Levey of the Los Angeles Times. RAND also estimates that 9 million individuals have purchased health plans directly from insurers, outside of the exchanges, but that the vast majority of these people were previously insured.
(2) Goldman Sachs – “Goldman Sachs is projecting that only 1 million Obamacare sign-ups will come from previously uninsured Americans. Indeed, it estimates that the number of total signups will be just 4 million not 6 million, as the administration claims because ‘HHS figures . . .count all persons who selected an ACA exchange plan regardless of whether or not they have actually completed the enrollment process by paying their premium.’ Goldman Sachs also anticipates that fully 75 percent of all the Obamacare sign-ups will be from people who already had insurance.”
(3) McKinsey – “Of the Obamacare sign-ups, only 27 percent had been previously uninsured in 2013. And of the 27 percent, nearly half had yet to pay a premium. (By contrast, among the 73 percent who had been previously insured, 86 percent had paid).”
American taxpayers have forked over $2 trillion to uproot an existing system with which most Americans were satisfied. If only a fraction of the law’s “newly” enrolled previously lacked coverage, how many Americans will consider the broader expensive disruption to have been worth it? Philip Klein notes how badly the White House has whiffed on Congressional Budget Office projections:
According to the Times, which cites a study from Rand Corp., “At least 6 million people have signed up for health coverage on the new marketplaces, about one-third of whom were previously uninsured.” That suggests that two million uninsured Americans gained coverage as a result of the law. Additionally, the article reports, “At least 4.5 million previously uninsured adults have signed up for state Medicaid programs.” So between Medicaid and the private exchanges, that makes 6.5 million previously uninsured Americans who have now gained coverage…But even as recently as February — when analysts knew how many states weren’t going along with the Medicaid expansion and were aware of the early technical glitches facing the rollout of Obamacare — the CBO still projected that the law would reduce the number of uninsured by 13million.
So they missed CBO’s anticipated target by 50 percent. A new CBS News poll confirms what every other national survey has demonstrated. People dislike Obamacare — including younger Americans:
In an attempt to enroll healthier people into the health are exchanges, the Obama administration has been targeting young adults to sign up, but what do they think of the law? Well, they don’t like it so much. Despite young Americans’ overall support for President Obama (48 percent approve of the job the president is doing)…they are not enthusiastic about the ACA: 42 percent approve of it, but more (50 percent) disapprove — opinions were similar in January. Young Americans’ views on the health care law do not differ much from those who are older.
Millennials are uniquely screwed by the law’s generational wealth transfers.
Obamacare has led to health coverage for [9.5] millions more [uninsured] people ____ according to a new LA Times story posted yesterday
And, what difference does it make, since the Liar in chief and his thugs will LIE about it anyway?
3 million of their 9.5 million are kids who have been placed on their parents' policy (note these are "kids" who in a previous age would have been supporting families).
The pledge to sign up 7 million on the website is the real issue. They have far from met the goal and LA Times is using other numbers to blur things.
Are they done signing up everyone in the prison systems yet?
These numbers are meant to distract from that on this particular date.
We had 45 million uninsured — right? Now we have less that 7 million paid up and previously uninsured. They failed— Badly!! And I don’t want to pay for others health insurance!! Why should I ? It is off to the crowded emergency rooms just like always for the 40 + million STILL UNINSURED AND NOW YOUNG PEOPLE!!
More interesting question - how many people had insurance they liked and LOST IT BECAUSE OF OBAMACARE?
How many people with health insurance lost it?
What was the net net?
Yet in an article posted after this one, obamacare will hit 7 mil today, total - not 9 mil.
I did, for one! And now I am with CHM, which I was previously unaware of, much less considered before. Oh, and it's 1/2 what I was paying, for approximately the same benefits.
Bless you for joining CHM.
If my employer wasn’t paying for 85% of my premiums, I’d be there as well.
It’s a sort of “golden handcuffs” situation on my part.
I believe, however, that it won’t be long before employers can’t offer affordable plans, because that’s one of the goals of Obamacare.
Once they get the bugs worked out of the Spanish website, they will be rolling it out in Juarez, Laredo, and Tijuana.
"Uh, I can't tell you. We don't have those numbers available."
It’s pick-a-number time at the White House.
Anyone can play