“With Obamacare’s first enrollment period finally in the books, two new surveys out this morning offer new insight into why the still-uninsured decided to remain on the sidelines this year. Hint: It has a lot to do with cost.”
“Obamacare’s defenders are doing their best to sustain a triumphant mood these days. In the wake of the late-March surge in exchange enrollment, many proponents of the law have insisted it can no longer be rolled back. As the president put it in his April 1 Mission Accomplished speech announcing the enrollment figures, “The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”
But just as conservative assertions that the law would collapse of its own weight were premature, so too are today’s liberal proclamations that the debate is over.”
“A few observations from my travels and conversations in the marketplace”
“The Census Bureau is changing the way it calculates the number of people with health insurance, a move researchers say could obscure the true impact of ObamaCare.”
“President Obama’s promise that Americans could keep their health insurance if they liked it was the most infamous of the Affordable Care Act’s sketchy sales pitches. But many of the law’s most damaging aspects are less known, buried in thousands of pages of regulations.
Consider the “fee”—really a hidden sales tax—that all health-insurance companies have been forced to pay since the first of this year on premiums for policies sold to individuals and small and medium-size businesses. The health-insurance tax—known as HIT in business circles—is expected to generate revenues of about $8 billion this year and as much as $14.3 billion by 2018, according to the legislation.”
“Have you heard? Obamacare survived! It got to that magic number it was looking for to make everything right!
Or rather, it got to half the number the Congressional Budget Office predicted it would get to after the Supreme Court ruling.”
“Young workers signed up for company health plans at a lower rate than last year, a surprising result that kept overall corporate enrollment rates flat.
American companies had been bracing for a big bump in the number of employees signing on to workplace plans as a result of the new government mandate that most American adults buy health insurance or pay a penalty. New data on worker behavior for the 2014 coverage year from payroll services supplier ADP suggests that surge of enrollment never happened, at least for large companies.”
“On Monday, the first open enrollment period for the new Affordable Care Act will close, and the opportunity to sign up for health insurance will not reopen again until November. For our family, President Barack Obama’s promise to make health insurance “affordable and available to every single American” has not come true. “
“The law clearly states that today is the final day to sign up for Obamacare. Only it isn’t. The extension announced last week covers anyone who merely claims they intend to apply. Allowing such a frivolous and unverifiable gesture to circumvent the law neatly captures the paternalistic arrogance of the White House and its signature legislation — only the intent matters. Pay no attention to the cavalcade of undesirable consequences; if we mean well, we can do whatever we want.”
“Today is March 31, 2014: in theory, the last day you can sign up for coverage under the subsidized Obamacare insurance exchanges. If you’ve been a regular reader of this space, you know that the numbers routinely paraded by the Obama administration regarding Obamacare website sign-ups don’t tell us much about the actual number of uninsured individuals who have gained coverage. A new study from the RAND Corporation indicates that only one-third of exchange sign-ups were previously uninsured.”