Obamacare

Most People Signing Up for Obamacare Already Had Insurance, Say Industry Sources

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Whitehouse.gov

When the Obama administration announced its latest set of enrollment numbers for Obamacare earlier this month, officials on a conference call did not provide information about how many people signing up for insurance under the law were previously uninsured. That information would come later, officials said, although they wouldn't say when. Nor would they explain how, exactly, the data was being tracked and measured.

Given how heavily the law's backers relied on the expansion of coverage to the uninsured in selling the law, one might think that this would be a rather important figure. But in fact it seemed rather clear that the administration was none too eager to provide these numbers. 

A report in The Wall Street Journal this weekend suggests a possible reason behind the reticence: The majority of sign ups appear to be from people who were already insured.

Early signals suggest the majority of the 2.2 million people who sought to enroll in private insurance through new marketplaces through Dec. 28 were previously covered elsewhere, raising questions about how swiftly this part of the health overhaul will be able to make a significant dent in the number of uninsured.

Insurers, brokers and consultants estimate at least two-thirds of those consumers previously bought their own coverage or were enrolled in employer-backed plans.

The data, based on surveys of enrollees, are preliminary. But insurers say the tally of newly insured consumers is falling short of their expectations, a worrying trend for an industry looking to the law to expand the ranks of its customers.

… Only 11% of consumers who bought new coverage under the law were previously uninsured, according to a McKinsey & Co. survey of consumers thought to be eligible for the health-law marketplaces. 

Couple this with the millions of insurance cancellations that are happening because of the law and it appears possible that there has been no net expansion of private coverage at all.

Given the fuzziness of the data, it's still hard to tell exactly what's happening. And even if it's true that there are no more uninsured now than there were last year, there's still time for that to change. As the administration is keen to remind us, people who want coverage have until the end of March to sign up for coverage this year. But even still, this doesn't exactly bode well for Obamacare's future. Certainly, the law isn't off to the kind of start that the administration hoped for, or promised. 

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  1. Listen, and understand. That legislation is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are on Medicaid.

    1. Can we stop it?
      With these weapons…maybe.

      1. Any weapon not in the 40 watt range is a substandard weapon.

        1. hey buddy, just what you see.

    2. These 2.2 million have purchased PRIVATE insurance.

      Your CT that everyone is moving to Medicaid is absurd.

      1. A colleague of mine just told me a few days ago that he went through his state’s exchange for his son’s insurance, and to his surprise his son is now enrolled in Medicaid. My colleague makes enough money to afford private insurance (which his son had been on).

        So once again PB it shows you are either completely clueless or just a lying piece of shit.

        1. “So once again PB it shows you are either completely clueless or just a lying piece of shit.”
          Yes.

      2. No fate but what Obamacare makes.

      3. Mandated and government chosen (as in: it has to cover this, be offered at this price, and have these deductibles) insurance is not fucking “private.”

      4. And yet the same article reports that HHS is expecting, “at least four million people … to join Medicaid rolls in the coming months.” But hey, it’s not like a 2:1 advantage for Medicaid is indicative of anything.

      5. Granted, but it’s also well known that many medicaid enrollments were renewals.

        In any case, it’s clear that the net effect on the individual market is to disrupt millions of people’s health insurance in order to extend coverage by a mere 11%. 4-6 million plans cancelled. 200,000 new enrollments. All it did was force a bunch of people to sign up for new, more expensive plans.

  2. Strange that the people who didn’t want to buy insurance before Obamacare, still don’t want to buy insurance.

    1. You mean they weren’t all waiting for someone to make a web site so they could choose an insurance plan?

    2. You mean they weren’t all waiting for someone to make a web site so they could choose an insurance plan?

      1. Yeah, and they’re STILL waiting.

    3. It’s almost as if those stories about people who couldn’t get insurance because of pre-existing conditions were WILDLY EXAGERRATED!

  3. And the rest of ’em are sick or signing up for the free-bies.
    But we just need one more marketing program! Let’s see, I’m thinking “Up with People”, whadaya think?

    1. More like “up the people.”

  4. How many people aren’t signed up for Social Security? Unfortunately, this is where medical insurance is going – you won’t have a choice.
    Proggies will make it mandatory “because otherwise people won’t do what we know is best for them.” And all those who believe in mandatory social security (virtually everyone except libertarians) will have no counter-argument will they?

  5. Statists need to understand that the existence of a law doesn’t necessarily mean a change in behavior. You can’t legislate good parenting. You can’t legislate eating more vegetables and exercising. You can’t legislate the desire to use intoxicants. And you can’t legislate people into doing something (buying insurance) that’s logical and good for them (although the ACA isn’t).

    1. You mean you can’t legislate the New Man into existence? Alright then, I guess we’ll have to do this the old fashioned way. READY THE RE-EDUCATION CAMPS AND FIRE UP THE OVENS!

    2. Sure you can, they just are not doing it right. Go full Pol Pot on our asses and the world of unicorns can be achieved.

    3. “albo|1.21.14 @ 11:01AM|#

      Statists need to understand that the existence of a law doesn’t necessarily mean a change in behavior”

      Ah yes. The Wreckers. We have plans for them.

      Ever notice how those evil ‘capitalists’ seem to believe that the best incentives are financial reward, personal self-development, etc…. while the progressives seem to think that the best incentives are FINES and a JACKBOOT ON YOUR THROAT, with the only ‘reward’ being = Everyone Is Equal and has the Same Shit.

      … yet those Capitalists? They’re the *bad guys*. Seems legit.

  6. This may come as a further shock, but I have it on good authority that there are actually people who previously had insurance who now have none, thanks to the fucking retard in the White House.

    1. “This may come as a further shock, but I have it on good authority that there are actually people who previously had insurance who now have none, thanks to the fucking retard in the White House.”

      I kept mine, but it only addeed an additional 25% to cover me for maternity costs. Helpful for an old male.

      1. I kept mine, but it only addeed an additional 25% to cover me for maternity costs. Helpful for an old male.

        Which is itself absurd, as the probability of an old male becoming pregnant is 0%, adding this coverage to an “insurance” policy that covers a group of like people should have raised your premium by exactly $0.

        1. Apparently, you missed the entire discussion where men (and women) who cannot physically become pregnant have been included in the pool of maternity to dilute cost. I mean, if your general policy covers your tonsils and appendix whether you’ve had them out or not, this is a small step, right?

    2. And that fact will be denied as long as possible.

  7. Statists need to understand that the existence of a law doesn’t necessarily mean a change in behavior.

    CRAZY TALK!

    The magic words are written on the paper, and Presto! the world is remade.

  8. A friend of mine who has been without coverage for 2 years tried to sign up, but didn’t because he didn’t qualify for subsidies. I thought it was delightful because he’s a statist douchebag. Did I say friend? I mean acquaintance because he befriended my other friend by hanging out on the steps of the honors dorm like the mooch he eventually proved himself to be. Haha.

    1. A friend of mine who has been without coverage for 2 years tried to sign up, but didn’t because he didn’t qualify for subsidies.

      Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

      He’s soon to discover that “doesn’t qualify for subsidies” = “Someone who ought to be subsidizing everyone else’s healthcare.”

      I hope you give us an update when he has to pay his “tax penalty” because he didn’t volunteer to be a milch cow.

  9. I hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth over cancelled policies. So I ask my friends, if those people had policies to be cancelled, where did they buy them ? They had no idea there already was a market in privately purchased health insurance policies. So then I ask, if folks who wanted insurance could already buy it (through a website !), why, exactly did the federal government need to set up its own website ? Shocking I know.

    1. Heh, the answer to that one is fun. The government had to set up it’s own site, because if a private company miscalculated a subsidy, they could get sued (either by the subsidizer or the customer). Government can’t get sued for screwing that up!

      1. “Government can’t get sued for screwing that up!”
        And it’s a good thing, as it’s screwed up enough to keep lawyers in business for a millennium if it were otherwise.

      2. Yes, that is the reason. Which at least makse some sort of sense, albeit in a circular way. Sort of like the folks getting hardship waivers from Obamacare, where the requirements of Obamacare are the hardship.

    2. The first time I ever looked at getting health insurance, in my early 20’s, I went to one of those websites that gathered quotes from the major carriers.

      This was in 2001.

      In answer to your question though, it’s because…Jobs!?!

    3. Yes. Florida Blue had an excellent website with good explanations of coverages and riders — as well as an ever expanding list of physicians posting their charges for a given procedure.

  10. I will reiterate a point I made in an an earlier thread.

    Anyone who really wanted insurance and couldn’t get it before has probably signed up by now. If you’re trying to get health care treatment for a pre-existing condition, you don’t wait until the last day of the enrollment period to sign up.

    Which means that ObamaCare has probably already reached it’s entire target market. it’s probably already enrolled the vast majority of the laws major beneficiaries – people with pre-existing conditions who couldn’t get health insurance.

    And if only 11% of the 2.1 million signups are people who didn’t already have insurance, then that means that the total number of beneficiaries in all likelihood numbers LESS THAN 1 MILLION people.

    Which means the lives and health insurance of millions of people were disrupted, millions of businesses upended causing untold economic damage, untold billions spent, in order to provide insurance coverage to a few hundred thousand individuals.

    1. Maybe that was their plan all along?

      Nah, they’re not smart enough to have that evil a master plan.

    2. “Which means the lives and health insurance of millions of people were disrupted, millions of businesses upended causing untold economic damage, untold billions spent, in order to provide insurance coverage to a few hundred thousand individuals.”

      I’m going out on a limb and predict the administration is not going to have “the final numbers” for a very long time (until, say 11/5/14), and that the lapdog press will continue to claim everything would be ducky if only the rethugs didn’t keep thinking bad thoughts about O-care.

    3. in order to provide insurance coverage to a few hundred thousand individuals.

      This was always my argument to liberal acquaintances: if we’re trying to address a problem that affects 15% of the population, why do we need a solution that impacts 100% of people?

      They would usually mumble something about fairness, or sometimes venture that most people hated their current health insurance, or something like that. But they could never actually answer, because the real reason is that they just want to consolidate more power in the federal government.

      1. 15% is way too high an estimate of people unable to get insurance due to pre-existing conditions.

  11. The goal of Obamacare was to insure the 30 million without insurance. Then 5 million lost their insurance due to the law. By December 2013, 2.81 million had registered at the exchanges. When you add the numbers up 30 + 5 – 2.81 = 32.19 million without insurance. It’s very possible that Obamacare has increased the number of uninsured.

  12. An explanation of the ACA cost structure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v….._365071601

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