Obamacare

Are the Uninsured Signing Up for Obamacare? Maybe Not.

|

Whitehouse.gov

One of the things we still don't know about Obamacare is how many of the people who have signed up for coverage under the law were previously uninsured. The administration, which has long emphasized that the central goal of the law is to expand coverage, says it isn't tracking that information.

"That's not a data point we are really collecting in any sort of systematic way," a senior federal health official who directed much of the implementation of the exchanges said earlier today. 

At least for now, then, we have to rely on imprecise, outside data. And as The Washington Post reports this afternoon, two new surveys suggest that the uninsured are not exactly turning out in droves:

The new health insurance marketplaces appear to be making little headway so far in signing up Americans who lack health insurance, the Affordable Care Act's central goal.

A pair of surveys released on Thursday suggest that just one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private health plans through the new marketplace have signed up for one — and that about half of uninsured adults has looked for information on the online exchanges or plans to look.

One of the surveys, by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., shows that, of people who had signed up for coverage through the marketplaces by last month, just one-fourth described themselves as having been without insurance for most of the past year.

This is preliminary information; there's still a month to go in the sign-up process. It's a survey sample, not a comprehensive look at the entire sign-up population. And data from New York finds a much higher percentage of sign-ups were previously uninsured (although New York is a special case with a practically nonexistent individual insurance market prior to Obamacare). Even still, however, it seems to indicate that the sign-ups we've seen so far haven't been concentrated amongst the long-term uninsured. 

NEXT: New York Assemblyman Convicted of Federal Bribery Charges

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Damn, Pete, leave some in the tank. Unless this is sweeps week for Pulitzers. In which case, turn it up to 11.

    1. Or 8. Turn it up to 8.

      1. I have no idea why this particular instance made me laugh so hard, but I found it hilarious.

      2. “Or 8. Turn it up to 8.”

        Not ten, not nine, not eight and one half; that’s EIGHT!

  2. Pete, you sure it’s not 1 in 12?

  3. Why would the uninsured sign up for health insurance when preexisting conditions don’t count against you? That’d be as foolish as posting an article with no alt-text.

    1. when preexisting conditions don’t count against you?

      Yeah that is probably the major reason.

  4. The new health insurance marketplaces appear to be making little headway so far in signing up Americans who lack health insurance, the Affordable Care Act’s central goal.

    At least they’re going to get some tax revenue out of it. Right?

    1. Deficit “neutral”.

  5. I’m not surprised by this at all. Has anyone looked at plans on the web site? They are very expensive and most have high deductibles. For example, for myself, my wife, and one kid, the bronze plan was $500 per month with a $10,000 deductible. And that was AFTER a tax credit. So why even bother?

    1. $500 per month with a $10,000 deductible.

      So basically for the cost of buying a house you can pay for something you probably will never use.

  6. Is there even a way to sign up to Obamacare without a PC with internet and without some skill at operating it?

    I would think those without insurance would also be those least likely to own a PC and most likely to give up when their application fails over the internet as they are probably less skilled at knowing how to work web pages and probably on PCs that they do not own and therefor can’t sit at it for hours trying to get their application in.

    1. Is there even a way to sign up to Obamacare without a PC with internet and without some skill at operating it?

      I might be wrong, but I heard you can go down to Planned Parenthood and they would hook you up.

    2. “Is there even a way to sign up to Obamacare without a PC with internet and without some skill at operating it?”

      In CA, they’ve got all sorts of lackeys to walk you through it, and probably hand out a load of Dem propaganda at the same time.
      On our dime.

    3. Oh yeah. They send volunteers around neighborhoods with “good” demographics here in FL.

  7. This is preliminary information; there’s still a month to go in the sign-up process

    When is the actual date? Any way we can delay this until after the elections?

  8. Don’t remember who to credit, but someone here made this point:
    Those who were ‘dying’ to get insurance and couldn’t signed up the first couple of days they could.
    Now, no. No body who doesn’t have insurance is gonna bother signing up, unless they’re subject to a hell of a fine.
    And especially with Obo changing the rules every 15 minutes.

    1. I went to a presentation by a retired orthopedist yesterday and he recounted conversations with morbidly obese people. They know they will have catastrophic outcomes some day but don’t buy insurance because they know when their joints collapse or they get the big one, they’ll be hauled into the ER and treated for free.

      1. Those morbidly obese people are pretty smart!

  9. The notion that they don’t track the sign ups of the previously uninsured has got to be false. You can bet that if the numbers were good, Team Blue would be out there in force talking up any member of the media with a pencil or a microphone about how the roll out was rough, but in the end O’care rocks because of the millions of previously uninsured now covered. The complete obfuscation and silence on these stats tells you all you need to know about how dismal the numbers are.

  10. “That’s not a data point we are really collecting in any sort of systematic way,” a senior federal health official who directed much of the implementation of the exchanges said earlier today

    about everything associated with Democratcare.

  11. I will be uninsured at the end of the month. I won’t be signing up for Obamacare because I can’t fucking afford it.

  12. “That’s not a data point we are really collecting in any sort of systematic way”

    Um…shouldn’t it be, given that insuring the uninsured was the proclaimed purpose of the law? Surely, they must be collecting data, using it to measure the outcome, and comparing it to the expectation or espoused purpose to judge whether the policy is a success or failure…

    Oh, wait. Now I remember. We’re talking about narcissistic sociopaths that don’t even have the intellectual integrity of a hamster.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.