- California has 5.3 million uninsured eligible to buy in the exchange with half estimated to be subsidy eligible.
- California is cancelling another 1.1 million people of which Covered California has estimated 510,000 qualify for a subsidy they can only get if they go to Covered California. At least 80% need to act by December 23 to avoid losing their coverage.
- The state is spending $250 million in federal money to get people signed up––dramatically more than any other state.
- The Covered California goal is to sign-up 500,000 to 700,000 subsidy eligible people by March 31.
Why should we be so impressed with Covered California because they have signed-up 80,000 people so far? Or, even that their goal is to sign-up 500,000 to 700,000 of the state’s 6.4 million people––half subsidy eligible––who are uninsured or having their insurance canceled?
Looking at these numbers, if they don’t have well more than 500,000 people signed up by December 31, I would have to think the number of uninsured in California would have grown.
It’s too early to declare victory.
If there aren’t fewer people without healthcare on April 1, 2014 than there were on January 1, 2010, I think it’s fair to consider the entire project as a flop. If a substantial number of the newly-covered people are enrolled in Medicaid and were qualified under the old rules, I think it’s fair to consider it a pyrrhic victory.
Even if securing healthcare insurance for more people is a roaring success, that still leaves the task of getting healthcare for them. That getting more people covered by insurance will result in more people receiving care is an article of faith. Not my faith but an article of faith nonetheless.