What happened to the 600,000 Californians who lost plans because of Obamacare but didn’t qualify for subsidies? Some probably signed up on the exchange anyway, further reducing the number of uninsured who gained coverage because of Obamacare. Others could have purchased Obamacare-compliant plans outside of the exchange.
Still other previously-insured Californians now lack health insurance because of Obamacare. Just how many people fall into each camp? We don’t know. “I don’t think we would have any of those demographics that you’re describing,” Anne Gonzales of Covered California told me.
But we do know that it’s very likely that that fewer than 200,000 of California’s 5.5 million uninsured residents (3.3. million of whom are eligible to enter the exchange) signed up for Obamacare by January 1. After spending $1 billion on developing and advertising the exchange in a blue state where views about the law are more favorable than the nation as a whole, is that really a success? Does that justify a multi-trillion dollar program and the cancellation of the insurance policies of millions of Americans across the country? The good folks at Covered California and WonkBlog seem to think so. A strong majority of American voters continue to disagree.