In the News: Blog

The cheering of President Obama’s die-hard fans has barely faded over how many people signed up on government-run health insurance “exchanges” and the number is already falling apart.

Remember, the reason for all the disruption and expense of Obamacare — new taxes, new mandates, millions forced off existing coverage — was because at least this nationalization of health care would expand health insurance to more people. The president crowed that 8 million people signed up for coverage on the exchanges: At least 8 million more people now had insurance!

Except most of those signing up hadn’t gained insurance at all. The new figures show that only 26% of those signing up previously were uninsured, while 74% had insurance. Avik Roy at Forbes, who has tracked the numbers, writes:

“Combining that with the payment figures: of the people signing up for new ACA plans in 2014, only 22 percent were previously uninsured individuals who have paid for coverage and therefore enrolled in health insurance. That’s a meaningful improvement from February’s 14 percent figure, but it’s still low.

“Combining all of this data: of the 8 million sign-ups on the exchange, we can only be confident that around 1.7 million are previously uninsured and enrolled. We can add another 865,000 or so for those purchasing coverage off the exchange, for a total of 2.6 million previously uninsured individual-market enrollees.”

So the scheme that has made hundreds of Wisconsinites call my office to tell my staff grim stories of losing their coverage, the Obamacare that takes away cancer medication keeping women alive, all the disruption and trillions of dollars of expected costs – in exchange for all that, 2.6 million previously uninsured people now have coverage.

Some bargain.