We Must Run Twice As Fast to Stay in the Same Place

Does this mean the plan is working? The Wall Street Journal does the math and finds that the net increase in people with healthcare insurance now stands at negative four million:

A charitable reading suggests that ObamaCare’s net enrollment stands at about negative four million. That’s the estimated four million to five and a half million people who had their individual health plans liquidated as ObamaCare-noncompliant—offset by the 364,682 who have signed up for a plan on a state or federal exchange and the 803,077 who have been found eligible to receive Medicaid.

In order to reach the CBO’s estimate of 7 million more people insured under the PPACA than without it, that means that 11 million people will need to enroll. When the small group plans expire as do the waivers of the large group plans, that number will grow.

10 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw Link

    Here is a site that projects the numbers going forward assuming either quadratic or cubic growth — by March 23, 2013, there would be either 1.35 million (quadratic model) or 3.94 million (cubic model) enrolled.

    I’m assuming that the early signees tend to come from the pre-existing state high risk pools. In Illinois, about 18,000 have been enrolled in such a program started in the 80s. There was another interim high risk pool financed by the ACA that picked up 2,000. The state is not closing the pool yet, but is writing to members to recommend switching to the exchanges where the coverage will be better and the price probably lower. These would seem to be the ideal candidates for the exchanges, particularly as they had the resources and motivation to sign up for the old program. Still, Illinois only has 7,000 that have selected a plan.

  • Red Barchetta Link

    ObamaCare is such a target rich environment you could snark all day long. But I have a real question. Its primarily for Michael, who crows about saving a couple sawbucks, and steve, who claims his doctor pals all find this OK. But its open to anyone.

    I know doctors, too. See them too often these days. They hate it. People in general hate it. This, as I have taken to saying is FUBAR. Its not getting better, its getting worse as the ramifications dribble out.

    Do you really believe in this thing, or this just closing ranks to defend your guy?

  • Well, obviously, I can’t answer the question for them but I can offer my own opinion. My own view of the PPACA was never more than tepid because

    1) I think there’s a definite problem to be solved
    2) the solutions offered by the PPACA were obviously inadequate to solve them and too constrained by the boundaries of the DC dialogue
    3) the PPACA would suck the air out of the room for healthcare reform for at least the next ten and possibly the next twenty years.

    The PPACA was enacted into law in 2010 and won’t be fully implemented until 2018. Will the president and/or the Democrats really allow a rollback of the law? I’m dubious. Will anyone have the appetite to expand it prior to 2018? I’m equally dubious. The questions then become will it be rolled back after 2016 or expanded after 2018? In either case the pace towards reform is glacial, far slower than the circumstances demand.

  • PD Shaw Link

    Charles Ornstein is reporting that insurance industry consultants are telling him that only five to fifteen percent of those that have signed up for an insurance plan through the exchanges has paid first month premium.

    (There is also some discussion on grace periods for nonpayment, which is not clear to me, but seems like there are grace periods for missed payments to those who have made their first payment)

  • The key point, I think, is that until there’s compensation there’s no contract. Wouldn’t federally mandated grace periods run into a “takings” problem? How about an indefinite grace period that extends until after a claim is actually made? That would seem to me to facilitate the worst case scenario.

  • PD Shaw Link

    @Dave, I think that’s how the traditional policy reads, the payment of the premium creates the contract and I read that reporting from that vantage point.

    The caveat would be that the ACA requires insurance companies to comply with certain conditions to be able to sell on the exchanges. I don’t know what the insurance companies agreed to. (The insurance companies may be wondering now what they agreed to)

  • Basic contract stuff. Consideration is required for a valid contract. To the best of my knowledge in most states insurance companies aren’t bound until the first premium has been received.

  • ... Link

    This really will kill the idea of a completely nationalized healthcare sector. If these morons can’t get a website to work, would you trust them will the whole system? And that ignores all the other problems with the law.

    Of course, these morons actually do have nuclear weapons at their disposal, so it’s probably a moot point. Plus they did get reelected, so apparently the voters would trust them….

  • Remember, Ellipsis, that most people believe in the “roomful of money” theory. That’s the idea that the federal government can just draw indefinitely without adverse consequences.

    Under a fiat currency regime it’s actually true. Except for the consequences part. Those are what lead me to believe that the “roomful of money” shouldn’t be tapped for operating expenses.

  • steve Link

    Drew- What do they hate about it? Seriously. So far, it has affected Medicare payments. Those cuts hurt, but if they really think they can just keep getting paid the same way they have in the past they are nuts. Medicare costs cannot continue to rise they way they have been doing. While physician pay is a minor factor (if we worked for free costs would still rise out of control), they are part of the problem. Suppose the GOP decided to finally act on Medicare (farfetched I know). Assume they employ some market mechanism and it works. The end result will be lower physician pay. The fact is that pay needs to come down some, so it will. These guys are in denial and just dont want things to change.

    Narrower networks? That has been going on for a while. It is how insurance companies lower costs. ACOs? Docs have all been giving up independent practice already.

    There have been a lot of changes going on dictated by JCAHO, and those piss me off too, but they are not ACA related.


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