Jeffery Anderson over at The Weekly Standard took a peek at Obamacare’s initial projected enrollment numbers and compared them to the current actual figures. What he found was that Obamacare is not as widely successful as the rosy Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates from 2010.
“Given that Obamacare’s supporters like to take the Congressional Budget Office’s overly optimistic scoring of the president’s signature legislation as gospel, it’s fun to look at how poorly Obamacare is actually doing in relation to earlier CBO projections. When the Democrats rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2010 without a single Republican vote, the CBO said that the unpopular overhaul would lead to a net increase of 26 million people with health insurance by 2015 (15 million through Medicaid plus 13 million through the Obamacare exchanges minus 2 million who would otherwise have had private insurance but wouldn’t because of Obamacare).
Fast-forwarding five years, the CBO now says that Obamacare’s tally for 2015 will actually be a net increase of just 17 million people (10 million through Medicaid plus 11 million through the Obamacare exchanges minus 4 million who would otherwise have had private insurance but won’t, or don’t, because of Obamacare).
In other words, Obamacare is now slated to hit only 65 percent of the CBO’s original coverage projection for 2015.
Obamacare’s under-publicized failure on this key point is attributable to a variety of factors, including but not limited to the following: People aren’t thrilled with Obamacare-compliant insurance’s high cost and limited doctor networks, and some would even rather pay a fine for refusing to buy such insurance than pay its premiums; the Supreme Court ruled that part of Obamacare was unconstitutional, thereby giving states more freedom not to help expand it; and HealthCare.gov has been more reminiscent of DMV.org than of Expedia.com.
In addition (and just as the CBO originally projected), the bulk of Obamacare’s net coverage gains are coming from dumping people into Medicaid (59 percent of the current projected net increase in 2015), not from getting people enrolled in private insurance (41 percent). Of course, President Obama rarely if ever talks about that aspect of Obamacare — but Republicans should.”
Desperate to get more people enrolled too, the Obama Administration announced last month another “special enrollment period” around tax time this year, to allow those who found out they have to pay a penalty/tax/fee instead of having insurance in 2014, the opportunity to not make the “mistake” again.
Those who opted not to have insurance in 2014 are fined $95, or 1% of their income, whichever is greater, which they pay when then file their 2014 taxes this year. In 2015, the fine increases to $325 or 2% of income. Enrollment in the special enrollment period has been lackluster so far.
The Administration just doesn’t seem to get that many people still don’t think Obamacare to be such a great piece of legislation, and certainly aren’t tripping over themselves to purchase an Obamacare plan.