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Sunday, February 25, 2024
HomePolicyObamaCare Enrollment Imperiled By Lopsided Medicaid Applicants

ObamaCare Enrollment Imperiled By Lopsided Medicaid Applicants

Previous reporting by People’s Pundit Daily claimed the numbers the Obama administration were giving for ObamaCare enrollment, were problematic. Now, it appears that ObamaCare enrollment, when taking off the rose colored glasses, may be exactly what we were suggesting it was, which is even worse than the problems currently portrayed in the mainstream media.

While virtually all the ObamaCare focus is trained on the program’s dysfunctional website, as Fox News has just now reported, another problem that is far more serious could be emerging. Particularly in states where individuals are able to sign up, far more are enrolling in Medicaid than private plans.

Even though the Obama administration refuses to provide figures on how many people have been successful in ObamaCare enrollment through the federally run exchanges, the trend is clear nevertheless. From the states that have provided their own relatively up-to-date figures, we can ascertain one very troubling — yet predictable — fact as it relates to the ObamaCare enrollment numbers.

Medicaid, the free health insurance program that pays nothing into the system, is getting the largest — or “lion’s” — share of the application for ObamaCare enrollment. Put bluntly, too many people are getting the free stuff, without a sufficient number of healthy, young Americans enrolling to cover the cost. In fact, we reported on the Gallup findings earlier, which demonstrated a record high number of Americans were uninsured, particularly those who need to enroll.

In Washington state alone, where liberals have been touting success, more than 35,000 people have signed up for coverage since Oct. 1. Of them, just 4,500 went into private plans, while roughly 31,000 signed up for Medicaid — with coverage kicking in sometime between now and Jan. 1. That will simply be put into the debt and deficit spending figures that are already unsustainable. That is a path headed to a place where nobody — nobody — gets health insurance.

The director of the state’s Health Care Authority said they were “pleased by the strong response of Medicaid-eligible residents.”

However, despite their stupidity, the imbalance — if it does not eventually balance out — will destroy private insurance companies, because they are relying on an influx of new and healthy customers to make the system solvent, which will in turn crash the health care the vast majority of Americans receive and would like to keep.

“There are a lot of elements of this law that have to work, that must work — otherwise the whole thing collapses,” the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon said. “They need — need — lots of healthy people to sign up for insurance through the exchanges.”

The fact that people are flocking to Medicaid isn’t unpredictable — as Republicans and conservatives have stressed that would happen for years — but the lack of healthy enrollees on private plans is spelling catastrophe. It may be too early to cry fire, as some liberals would have you believe, but there is no sign that any of these trends will arrest, let alone reverse.

The main reason ObamaCare mandated that Americans even buy insurance was so that private insurers would get enough young, healthy Americans in the insurance pool who could offset the costs of covering older and sicker Americans. And, of course, the simple reality is that they quietly placed them in with the same pool with leeches who flock to Medicaid and have no intention of ever doing anything different. However, now at the very least, costs will skyrocket for those in the system.

“You need to have a good balance of people purchasing coverage or these reforms won’t work,” Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, said earlier.

Cannon said the mix of new ObamaCare enrollment figures could certainly change if and when the website is fixed. Then the question becomes, of those signing up, are they healthy?

ObamaCare was built to expand coverage in two major ways: by offering people subsidies to purchase insurance on the private market, and second, by expanding the number of people eligible for Medicaid.  The expansion of Medicaid was a source of political tension between the White House and Republican governors — so far, half the states have agreed to expand the program which provides health coverage to low-income Americans.

States were attempting to prepare for an explosion in Medicaid enrollment, as they have already started reaching out to potential enrollees. But this was all part of the design.

For instance, prior to the ObamaCare enrollment “exchanges” launched, the state of Maryland had signed up more than 80,000 people for automatic enrollment in Medicaid starting January  1 of 2014, without any consideration to what may happen if they weren’t able to counter the pool with young, healthy Americans.

However, the nightmare is coming true, because the enrollment since October has also only brought in a measly 2,300 additional participants — as of an Oct. 18 update.

In other states, Medicaid is also by far the more popular choice of those enrolling this month.

The Democrat and Chronicle newspaper reports that in New York, nearly 24,000 of the 37,000 newly enrolled residents are going into Medicaid, which millions of New Yorkers are already on, while just 13,313 chose private plans.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated this past May that, at the beginning, more than half of Americans enrolling would be on Medicaid but that, over the next decade, the balance will shift and millions more will join private plans through the exchanges.

“Time will tell,” Zirkelbach said, and, it certainly will. But one thing is certain, which we all will soon be hearing. Single-payer — or, complete socialized, rationed medicine — is in our not-so distant future.

Written by

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

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