The White House and its water carriers in the mainstream media continue to insist that all is well in Obamacareland. In fact, the latter, following a brief hiatus into the realm of truth-telling, have once again embraced the party line with a renewed vigor.
But all is anything but well, as J.E. Dyer noted in a Quick Take yesterday. Following up on that theme comes a new round of sobering reporting from Manhattan Institute fellow Avik Roy, who writes in his “Apothecary” column at Forbes:
At the end of the day, for all of the rhetoric and promises about what Obamacare would achieve, the health law’s most ardent supporters have stuck to their guns because of one thing: coverage expansion. But new data suggests that Obamacare may fail even to achieve this goal. Instead of expanding coverage to those without it, Obamacare is replacing the pre-existing market for private insurance. Surveys from insurers and other industry players indicate that as few as 11 percent of those on Obamacare’s exchanges were previously uninsured. If these trends continue, the probability increases that Obamacare will eventually get repealed.
So how bad is it? According to an industry survey by McKinsey & Co., “only 11 percent of consumers who bought new coverage under the law were previously uninsured.”
It gets worse. Of some 4,563 individuals “thought to be eligible for the health-law marketplaces,” a meager 389 enrolled. Of those who didn’t, 52% said “affordability” was their biggest complaint with the plans offered on the exchanges.
HealthMarkets, a Texas-based insurance holding, did its own survey based on the 7,500-or-so people that the company enrolled in exchange-based plans. According to their data, only 35% of enrollees were previously uninsured. Priority Health, a non-profit health insurer in Michigan, surveyed 1,000 “enrollees” and found that only a quarter were previously uninsured.
On top of that, evidence suggests the administration is fudging its data on Medicaid enrollments. The White House claim that more than 4 million Americans have signed up for Medicaid coverage under the law is a gross distortion. While it is true that 4 million have signed for Medicaid, Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics figures that only 5 to 7.5% of those enrollees were due to Obamacare.
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