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White House Drastically Rolls Back Obamacare Expectations


Here’s a shocker: the latest predictions from the Obama administration have the Affordable Cart Act insuring only half the number initially expected. Reuters:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services now expects 11 million uninsured Americans to obtain coverage next year, down from about 22 million projected a year ago, according to the report, which appeared in the journal Health Affairs. It said healthcare spending would rise 6.1 percent in 2014, partly due to the implementation of Obamacare, compared with a previous projection of an increase of 7.4 percent.

The slowdown in spending growth might seem to be a bright spot in this otherwise disastrous announcement, but spending restraint has very little to do with Obamacare and much more to do with the increasing prevalence of high deductible plans. Moreover, many aren’t even sure the slowdown will be permanent.

As if the diminished expectations weren’t enough bad news for the ACA for one day, the law is also running into some fresh technical glitches. There have been stories all summer about problems with the software for the online exchanges, but this one seems quite serious. WSJ:

Less than two weeks before the launch of insurance marketplaces created by the federal health overhaul, the government’s software can’t reliably determine how much people need to pay for coverage, according to insurance executives and people familiar with the program.

Lingering technical problems like this are exactly what you might expect from a rushed rollout of a complex system. Obamacare is ending out the week on a very bad note.

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  • lukelea

    The strongest argument in favor, which got me on board, was universal coverage. Can this be fixed?

    • Corlyss

      Universal coverage everywhere by everyone is proving to be unsustainable. All it does is turn our looming fiscal crisis into a bullet train to oblivion, rather than the merely high speed train it now is. The only reasons the Eurotrash still have it are 1) they lie about the true state of their health care; and 2) they can’t pull the plug on it because the pols would be decimated even if they were able to avoid a revolution.

  • Kavanna

    Can we just admit this is another Obama disaster and move on?

    Although — the Republicans cannot seem to get out of their ideological ghetto. The time to strike against Obamacare is when the pain is maximum, early next year. And they need an alternative, not just heads in the sand.

    There’s an opportunity there for good politics and doing the right thing as well — confronting health care costs, the growing cronyism of health care providers and government, and the need for more active consumer choice — so that the price mechanism and competition can do their thing — in place of the bloated cartelism that Obamacare embodies.

  • AnnSaltzafrazz

    How many of those 11 million were always eligible for Medicaid and, if they had a major medical crisis, would have been signed up by their hospital?

    There were always multiple classes of uninsured:

    1) People who qualified for, but never bothered to sign up for Medicaid.

    2) People who made too much to qualify for Medicaid, but still couldn’t afford or get insurance (pre-existing conditions, large family, etc.)

    3) People who could have afforded insurance but chose not to get it. This was often a rational decision by young adults, who would rather spend their money on other things, than on health insurance they didn’t need. Many uninsured make $50,000-70,000–not exactly starving families choosing between medical care and buying a can of beans for dinner.

    4) Illegal immigrants.

    Democrats found it convenient to lump all of these people into one barrel, and talk about them like they were all poverty-stricken and helpless. They ignored the eligibility of many for Medicaid, and ignored the ineligibility of many based on legal status.

    Now, the different groups are shaking out, and the chaotic mess of the new laws are being shown for what they are: incompetent bureaucracy chasing power.

    • Clayton Holbrook

      “How many of those 11 million were always eligible for Medicaid”

      Your point is well-taken. But I wonder how many people aren’t getting coverage, causing estimates of additionally covered people to go down, b/c many states have opted not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare?

    • Corlyss

      What difference does it make, practically speaking, if the illegals leech off the system via Obamacare or Medicaid? The system is no better off with one over the other.

  • jamdox

    Well, the article makes clear the lowered enrollment is due to GOP state governments not expanding medicaid.

    And I don’t know how technical glitches can be lingering before the system is even launched.

    0/10 sorry I stopped back.

  • Another_Lurker

    I often wondered if the software would be ready before the rollout. Obamacare is very complex (more like Rube Goldberg) and it takes time to write and test complex code. The complexity is not the fault of the programmers but Democrats when they passed Obamacare.

  • Brad Ackerman

    If the government is going to start regulating carts like they’re regulating care, I guess I’d better stock up from ULINE now while I can still afford it.

    (Or maybe there’s just a typo in the article.)

  • Rick Caird

    Just taking a very wild cut at costs/person. The CBO esimates the 10 year cost of ObamaCare at $2.4 trillion or$240 billion year. So, not counting new ObamaCare taxes, penalties masquerading as taxes, and not counting the additional costs of health insurance, then ObamaCare comes to about $21,818.00 per additional person covered. Who in their right mind would vote for such a terrible program?

    • skhpcola

      People that believe in magic fairies and unicorns? Obamunists and other assorted dreck of society who couldnt care less how much it costs, because they are certain that they won’t be the ones paying for it?

  • SaraB55

    Eleven million fewer uninsured? Those are what The One calls “bumps in the road.” You know, like those four dead Americans in Benghazi?

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