You remember ObamaCare, right? Most of the media, with the attention span of a gnat, seem to have forgotten about the disaster, and Team Obama would prefer you also forget with the midterms coming in six weeks. Well, after making up numbers and declaring the story over, we have some bad news for the Obama apologists.
President Obama’s claim last spring that 8 million people had enrolled in ObamaCare recently got a significant downgrade from the head of the agency overseeing the plan.
Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told a congressional committee that “as of August 15, this year, we have 7.3 million Americans enrolled in Health Insurance Marketplace coverage and these are individuals who paid their premiums.”
A key part of her statement was Tavenner’s reference to those who paid, because just signing up isn’t enough to be counted as enrolled.
As Doug Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, explained, “it’s not enough to sign up. You have to sign up and pay on a regular basis to really be enrolled.”
That is one reason both state and private insurance officials have been saying their enrollments were shrinking.
“They’ve deteriorated quite a bit, this was anticipated to some degree, but I think it’s exceeded expectations in some cases,” said Jim Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
For instance, state officials in Florida say their enrollments are now 220,000 lower than the administration’s count in April, going from some 983,000 to just over 762,000, a drop of more than 20 percent.
A 20 percent drop would seemingly be big news, but other than Fox nobody is reporting this. Gee, we wonder why?
In fact, Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, the nation’s third largest insurer, said recently that his company had 720,000 people sign up for exchange coverage as of May 20, but only 600,000 turned out to be paying customers.
He added he expects that number to fall to “just over 500,000” by the end of the year. That would leave Aetna’s paid enrollment down some 30 percent from its original sign-up numbers.
Many analysts think enrollments across the industry will continue to erode.
“So the enrollment that the administration was touting in March and April,” Capretta said, “I think you could bring that down by at least 20 percent going into the end of the year.”
Just wait until their premiums skyrocket.