The Obama administration’s public relations machine has been trumpeting the success of the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ObamaCare, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. Enrollment has been anemic, the website is plagued with problems, and it is possible that there are now more people without insurance as a direct result of the law. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced recently that 2.1 million people have enrolled in a private insurance plan in the ObamaCare exchanges.
But this number is misleading.
Instead of reporting on actual plan enrollments, the administration defines “enrollments” as individuals and families who have placed a plan in their shopping cart, but have not necessarily purchased a plan. The distinction is critical. As anyone who has ever shopped online knows, putting something in your shopping cart is not the same as actually purchasing it.
But that 61,000 estimate would still not tell you the number of people covered. Only the number of people who have actually paid for a plan can tell you who is actually going to be covered.
According to insurers polled by CNNMoney, the actual number of people who have actually paid for their plans is estimated to be anywhere between 12 percent to 30 percent lower than the reported “enrolled” number nationally.
Using those estimates in Illinois, actual enrollments through the end of the year in Illinois could be in the 42,000-54,000 range. About 185,000 individuals and families in Illinois had their policies canceled as a direct result of ObamaCare. While those with Blue Cross coverage were eligible to renew their plans for one more year, the remainder were not.
The Obama administration has been relentless in claiming that ObamaCare has been a success. But judging by the many promises made, including reducing the number of uninsured, it may end up throwing even more people into the ranks of the uninsured. It is a costly and damaging scheme for the entire health care system and the nation.
Naomi Lopez Bauman is Director of Health Policy at the Illinois Policy Institute