“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.”
“One of the fundamental flaws of the Affordable Care Act is that, despite its name, it makes health insurance more expensive. Today, the Manhattan Institute released the most comprehensive analysis yet conducted of premiums under Obamacare for people who shop for coverage on their own. Here’s what we learned. In the average state, Obamacare will increase underlying premiums by 41 percent. As we have long expected, the steepest hikes will be imposed on the healthy, the young, and the male. And Obamacare’s taxpayer-funded subsidies will primarily benefit those nearing retirement—people who, unlike the young, have had their whole lives to save for their health-care needs.”
“Assume all the numbers are correct, or at least close to correct. By far the largest part of Obamacare’s health coverage expansion has come from a) expanding Medicaid, and b) allowing young people to stay on their parents’ coverage. The part where Democrats essentially blew up the health care markets, imposed the individual mandate, and caused premiums to rise and deductibles to skyrocket? That hasn’t been such a success. If the Times number are correct, all of that — placing new burdens of higher costs and narrower choices on millions of Americans, in addition to setting the stage for coming changes in employer-based coverage — has resulted in two million of the previously uninsured gaining coverage.”
“Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said Sunday that the Obama administration was “cooking the books” on enrollment figures for ObamaCare.
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Barrasso said he wasn’t persuaded by statistics that said more than 6 million people had signed up for insurance under the healthcare law.”
“Americans face a Monday deadline for enrolling in health insurance after last-minute efforts over the weekend produced long lines, extra security and hours of waiting across the country.
HealthCare.gov, the federal web portal for purchasing coverage, was up and running after sunrise on the East Coast, but early visitors saw messages that the site was down for maintenance. Obama administration spokesman Aaron Albright said the site’s “regular nightly maintenance” was extended for what the Department of Heatlh and Human Services called a “software bug” unrelated to application volume.”
“A few weeks ago the Obama Administration reported that enrollment in the new insurance marketplaces topped four million through the end of February, then five million by mid- March, showing steady progress since the website woes of October. News organizations jumped on the numbers. Would they get to six million enrollees this year, a target many use for the law? If they do, do they have enough young adults to balance the risk pool? If they don’t, won’t premiums skyrocket? The scorecards were out.”
“The Obama administration’s decision to let some consumers enroll in health plans beyond Monday’s deadline sparked concern among insurers and prompted fresh attacks from opponents of the health law.
A surge of consumers is expected to hit HealthCare.gov before Monday’s deadline to sign up for insurance and avoid a penalty under the Affordable Care Act. In the past, heavy traffic has stalled the federal site.”
“The ACA gave states a number of choices in how to implement the broad coverage changes it required. As such, health reform looks different from state to state, and the impact of the ACA may or may not differ because of these state decisions. This Data Brief examines a number of choices related to the establishment and running of the new health insurance marketplaces, and their potential impact on enrollment rates to date. We use existing data sources as well as a new database, HIX 2.0, which provides a rich array of state-level variables to provide an ongoing picture of ACA implementation. HIX 2.0, developed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, documents and codes state-level variation in the political setting, institutional structures, and operational decisions likely to affect outcomes on the marketplaces.”
“U.S. consumers eligible for Obamacare health plans could see double-digit price hikes next year in states that fail to draw large numbers of enrollees for 2014, including some states that have been hostile to the healthcare law, according to insurance industry officials and analysts.”
“The Obama administration announced they hit their revised goal of 6 million enrollees on the Affordable Care Act exchanges this week, several days before enrollment closes tomorrow. Politically, hitting this benchmark is an important symbol for the administration, as it has struggled to recover from the disastrous rollout of the insurance exchange websites this fall. But policy-wise, it doesn’t mean nearly as much. And it may take until 2016 to really see if the law is successful at consistently getting lots of Americans affordable health insurance.”