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As noted yesterday in a must-read by the Washington Examiner’s Byron York, the so-called “enrollment” numbers for the victory lap the administration eventually took Tuesday only lead to more questions as to why the entire American healthcare system essentially had to be destroyed in order to be “fixed” (and I’m using the term “fixed” VERY loosely here). To recap:
The bottom line is that Democrats could have enacted two relatively small changes (small relative to the entirety of Obamacare, that is) in the health care system and achieved most of what Obamacare has achieved so far. Would Republicans have supported such changes back in 2009 and 2010? Who knows? Maybe a few would have — certainly the until-26 change — but the point is in the brief period when Obamacare was enacted, Democrats had about 255 votes in the House and 60 in the Senate. They could do what they wanted, which included pursuing more modest reforms that would have helped millions. Or they could blow things up and impose burdens on millions even as they helped others. Acting on decades of pent-up demand to take control of the health care system, they chose to blow things up. And that is the context for today’s new numbers.
Now, ObamaCo. and Congressional Democrats are touting a sign-up number slightly above their 7 million goal as being reached as of the end of the day March 31, 2014, but a breakdown of those numbers is in serious order – not that we’ll ever get one. For example:
1) How many of those who enrolled have actually PAID. You are not on a healthcare plan until you have made your first payment. Guesstimates have been swirling around that around 20% haven’t been paid.
2) Of those who signed up and presumably have paid, how many are on the Medicaid system? Early numbers from states who were reporting figures showed that most had not enrolled in private insurance.
3) What’s the ratio of young healthy people enrolling in Obamacare versus older adults who tend to have more health issues? Questionable numbers released by the administration in January indicated that they were far short of their 40% youth enrollment goal, a number they needed to meet in order to offset the costs of older Americans signing on.
4) Of those supposed “over 7,000,000”, how many were actually uninsured to begin with? That was the main stated goal of the “Affordable Care Act” – to allow people who had previously had issues getting on an insurance plan the opportunity to do so. The number may end up being – wowsers – less than a million, meaning that the vast majority who signed up either did so because they were forcibly dumped off their old plan due to Obamacare regulations or decided to jump on another plan that was cheaper.
5) How many signed up not because they wanted health insurance but because they wanted to avoid the penalty?
6) How many qualified for subsidies – meaning you and I will be paying for it?
7) How many were forced into plans they couldn’t afford but at the same time didn’t qualify for the subsidy?
8) What is the number of people who got plans with lesser coverage but have to pay more because they were kicked off their old plans – you know, the plan that they were told if they liked they could keep?
I could go on but you get the picture. The point of all this being that there is much more behind the supposed “official” numbers released yesterday that we’ll probably never get straight answers on from the administration. Remember, to Obama and his Democrat minions in Congress, Obamacare is now “settled law.” Furthermore, the President imperiously declared yesterday that the debate “is over”, so further questions about enrollment facts and figures will only be answered if the White House feels it benefits their political party to answer them. Remember, this is a crucial election year for the Obama agenda, and the most positive spin they can put on the opening round of enrollment – regardless of whether or not what they actually say is eventually proven to be misleading or downright false – takes priority over everything else. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi even had the audacity to say yesterday that,”now we pivot to jobs.” Seriously!
Facts be damned. They have an election to try to win! New narratives must be now be constructed. As long as you remember that, you’ll know that in reality the 7+million number tells a tale they don’t want you to hear but will continue to be questioned on, whether they like it or not.