Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
President Obama and CMS have been extremely quiet about Health Insurance Exchange enrollment since enrollment opened November 15,2014
President Obama reported that on opening day the health insurance marketplace performed much better than last year. However, some consumers reported long, frustrating delays trying to buy insurance and gain access to their own accounts at HealthCare.gov.
Consumers there were having a hard time logging into their accounts, retrieving old passwords and proving they were who they said they were — a process known as identity proofing, which also vexed many people last fall.
Some people did complete their applications, but it often took them 90 minutes. Some people were unable to finish what they started, so they left the clinic with plans to return at another time.
The insurance exchanges are supposed to be the centerpiece of Obamacare.
Ms.Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services said, “23,000 people had completed online applications in the first eight hours after HealthCare.gov, the federal website, opened on Saturday morning.”
Twenty three thousand is a low number for a 45-day enrollment period with four days each at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is only 1,035,000 enrollees (45 x 23,000). We do not know if they are new or old enrollees.
Ms. Sylvia Burwell has given us signals previously that all is not well with Obamacare.
The estimate of total enrollees (old and new) for the end of the 2015 enrollment period was lowered from 13 million to 9 million. If 8 million were enrolled in 2014 this is only an increase of 1 million new enrollees.
It turned out that 65% of those approved for subsidies originally had the subsidy reduced when they could not verify their claimed income.
The American taxpayers, who are responsible for the subsidy (tax credit), were never told how the government was going to collect the government over payment. Taxpayers were never told the amount of payment due from people who received the invalid subsidies.
How many of those over subsidized people dropped out of Obamacare because they could not afford the premium or the deductible.
How many enrollees remained from the 8 million claimed to have enrolled?
Somehow the published number of enrollees dropped to 7.3 million. Did the decrease from 8 million to 7.3 million include the over subsidized dropouts?
I should think an inspector general or someone in congress would start connecting the dots.
I would think the CBO would recalculate their estimates.
I should think someone in the press would sense there was something fishy and start investigating.
Last week it was discovered that 400,000 people were counted in the total enrollment number that did not buy healthcare insurance. The 400,000 enrolled for low cost dental insurance.
This new revelation lowered the total number of claimed enrollees to 6.9 million from the 7.3 million claimed enrollees.
Kathleen Sibelius declared over a year ago that Obamacare would have to have over seven million enrollees to be viable and declared successful.
In a previous blog my estimate of valid enrollees for 2014 was 3 million. I have also pointed out that the healthcare insurance industry is not worried about the number of enrollees because if they lose money the government would bale them out and subsidized the difference.
The loser is the taxpayer. We have been paying a tax increase of more than 10% for Obamacare since 2010.
The public has not yet seen any numbers proving Obamacare’ s viability or it’s bending of the cost curve.
We have seen patients complaining that they cannot afford the 6-10 thousand dollar deductibles of the health insurance policies. People have realized that they are not covered by insurance until they reach their deductibles. People have been hesitant to get necessary medical care in order to avoid paying the deductibles.
The Obama administration claims to have reduced healthcare costs. The administration does not count the patient’s deductible costs (out of pocket costs) in their bogus calculation of costs to the healthcare system.
The avoidance of follow-up care by patients with pre-existing illnesses (chronic diseases) is only going to lead to complications of those chronic disease and higher societal healthcare costs.
Lowering the goal for the number of enrollees to 9 million if only there are only 3 million valid enrollees that stayed in the system is going to be a very difficult task.
The changing of the date to begin open enrollment from October 1 to November 15 for political reasons is not going to help achieve the goal.
President Obama will probably extend the enrollment period from December 15,2014.
The Obama administration already announced the 2016 open enrollment period. It starts October 1 2015 and ends December 15, 2015.
There is a great website that calculates the estimated weekly enrollment and actual enrollment. Enrollment is not going very well. President Obama and his administration are very quiet about the enrollment. The mainstream traditional media is also ignoring enrollment.
The website is, http://acasignups.net
As of 11/21/2014 the website reports confirmed enrollees for 2015 QHPs: at least 39,215 have enrolled as of 11/21/14 as opposed to the government estimated enrollees for 2015 QHPs of at least 410,000 as of 11/21/14.
No one is paying attention to the website. The Obama administration is not providing the information necessary for consumers to judge how well Obamacare enrollment is doing.
Ms. Burwell said that attention should be on all of the people who now have health insurance, rather than the miscalculation.
“While we understand some will be skeptical, our clarity that this is mistake and the fact that we have quickly corrected the numbers should give people confidence,” she said. “It is important to continue to focus on the fact that millions of Americans are getting affordable health care.”
The Obama administration persists in trying to distract the American public.
I think the Obama administration continues to believe, as Jonathan Gruber believes, that Americans are too stupid to understand what the administration is doing.
The administration wants to prove that the free market and private insurance cannot provide healthcare coverage for all that only total government control of the healthcare system can work.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone
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