Obamacare Enrollment Numbers not Meeting Expectations
Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 11, 2013
The Wall Street Journal reported that the initial enrollment numbers for Obamacare are falling far short of expectations. According to the Journal fewer than 50,000 Americans have been able to sign up for health insurance through the governmental website. This is only 10% of the 500,000 people the Obama Administration internally predicted would enroll in October.
The $200 million HealthCare.gov website that does not work is one reason behind the dismal sign-up numbers. However, other factors are at play including sticker shock at the high prices of plans if not subsidized by the government. In addition, younger Americans who previously did not have health insurance or carried only catastrophic insurance are unwilling to pay the steep cost of healthcare insurance that in essence merely subsidizes the cost for health insurance for older Americans.
The Obama Administration estimated that approximately 7,000,000 people, including many younger Americans, need to sign up for Obamacare to make the program financially viable. One of the many promises the President made concerning Obamacare was that it would not add any dollars to the federal deficit. That outcome was highly suspect from the start. The low initial sign-up numbers makes this but a pipe dream.
Much of the current focus on Obamacare has been on the flawed HealthCare.gov website. This focus misses larger issues. When selling Obamacare to the electorate, the President indicated that the program would add millions to those Americans with healthcare insurance; i.e. access to free or inexpensive healthcare, and actually lower the overall cost of healthcare in the United States. Any American who bought into that snake-oil sales pitch should not be surprised nor complain about the mess the Country now finds itself with this flawed program.