Over at Investor's Business, the always-interesting John Merline sends word of a troubling development when it comes to Obamacare: The very people it was supposed to help the most—the uninsured—don't seem to want the damned thing.
After looking at a series of slides posted by Health and Human Services (HHS) that lay out the department's marketing plan to reel in new customers, IBD's editorial board notes,
It turns out that the Democrats and the Obama administration apparently didn't bother to investigate who these uninsured people actually are before they forced through a $1.8 trillion plan to help them.
What they've learned since is that more than half of the 48 million who the government says are uninsured aren't interested in health insurance, which is why they don't bother to buy it in the first place….
The biggest market segment identified by HHS, in fact, is what it describes as "healthy and young," who make up 48% of the uninsured population.
They have "a low motivation to enroll" because they are in "excellent to very good health" and so "take health for granted."…
Then there are the "passive and unengaged," which make up 15% of the uninsured and also have a "low motivation to enroll" because they "live for today." They also cite cost as a key factor.
The problem, of course, is that ObamaCare will make insurance vastly more expensive for many of those who fall into these groups by larding on new benefit mandates and placing limits on premium-lowering deductions and co-pays. It will also introduce insurance market rules that force the young and healthy to subsidize premiums for those older and sicker.
Obamacare backers pushed the plan as a way to cover the 50 million Americans who didn't have health insurance coverage (and let's be clear that having health insurance isn't the same thing as having good health). After the law passed, they chucked the idea that 50 million people were going to get covered, usually dropping the number down to around 30 million. Which off the bat is a tell of some sort: Why are we spending trillions of dollars and creating a new, untested program to cover 30 million people (while leaving another 30 million out at sea)? If basic insurance coverage was the goal, wouldn't giving people some sort of voucher or payment ticket to buy insurance be a cleaner, easier solution (and one that could have been implemented overnight)? Not that such a system wouldn't have caused all sorts of unintended havoc on the status quo, but it wouldn't have created an tsunami of uncertainty and guaranteed rate hikes that are everywhere around us.
Here's HHS's latest fact sheet on the uninsured.
Back in 2008, Reason TV revealed a bold new health care plan that would have covered about half of the uninsured. Take a look: