By Naomi Lopez Bauman -
President Barack Obama is quick to paint an underdog picture when it comes to his fight to push through the Affordable Care Act.
He has claimed that: “We didn’t make a hard sell. We didn’t have billions of dollars to spend on commercials like our critics did.”
But the federal government directed almost $155 million to Illinois to implement and market ObamaCare throughout the state.
According to the Obama administration, fewer than 218,000 Illinoisans have enrolled in private health insurance coverage under ObamaCare. That means the federal government spent more than $700 for every person who “selected” a health exchange insurance plan. But if you are counting only those who were previously uninsured and who have actually paid for an ObamaCare plan, estimated to be about 40,000, the amount of federal funds spent per actual ObamaCare enrollee could be closer to $3,700.
The federal government has continued to report only the “shopping cart enrollees,” or those who put a plan in their shopping cart. Only those who have paid for a plan have actually obtained coverage. Nationally, it is estimated that 87 percent of enrollees nationally have actually paid.
And we still do not know how many Illinois enrollees were previously uninsured. The federal government’s original enrollment goals were based on enrolling those who previously lacked insurance. According to national survey data, as few as 26 percent of exchange enrollees were previously uninsured. But this is the group that also has lower rate of actually paying their first month’s premium. Nationally, about 71 percent of the previously insured paid.
If that trend holds in Illinois, total exchange enrollment could be just 40,000.
ObamaCare has been plagued by a litany of broken promises. Costs are soaring; enrollment goals and timelines have been changed for political purposes; millions of Americans have lost their health coverage; others can no longer see the doctors they saw in the past.
Even with a hard sell, Illinoisans are not buying what the president is selling. More spending is not going to make things better or change that reality.