Friday, November 15, 2013

Many 'uninsured' haven't visited ObamaCare website, have been mislabeled uninsured to begin with, and/or are opposed to ObamaCare to begin with

11/8/13, "Most uninsured ignoring Obamacare marketplace, poll shows," CBS News, Stephanie Condon

"Just 18 percent of uninsured Americans have visited a marketplace website, according to the Gallup poll, conducted Oct. 23 - Nov. 6."


11/15/13, "Obama Misled Public About Number Of Uninsured Too," IBD Editorial, John Merline

"Just 18% of the uninsured have bothered to go to one of the ObamaCare exchange websites, according to a recent Gallup survey. And only 22% say they plan to buy an ObamaCare plan next year.
That same week, a Reuters poll found that 56% of the uninsured oppose ObamaCare. Just 44% view it favorably. In other words, the uninsured are, if anything, more opposed to the law than are the public at large.

Given the mounting fury over millions of policy cancellations and the federal exchange website debacle, these findings garnered little public attention. But they should.

They are evidence that, in addition to Obama's phony "keep your plan" promise, he also appears to have misled the public about the scale of the uninsured problem and ObamaCare's ability to help. In fact, there's increasing reason to believe that ObamaCare could actually swell the ranks of the uninsured next year.

'Underlying Moral Basis'

When President Obama was selling the Affordable Care Act back in 2009, he repeatedly claimed that the "underlying moral basis" for reform was to help the uninsured.

"We are not a nation that accepts nearly 46 million uninsured," he said in a June 2009 speech before the American Medical Association. Later that year, at a town hall, he promised that "if you're one of the nearly 46 million people who don't have health insurance, you will finally have quality, affordable options."

Just this Thursday, Obama said that "I'm not going to walk away from 40 million people who have the chance to get health insurance for the first time."

But early indications are that the uninsured are unenthusiastic about the law meant to help them. Even those states running their own exchange websites — which have suffered fewer glitches than the federal site — have seen few people signing up.
In Maryland, which has 785,000 uninsured and was one of the first states to enthusiastically embrace ObamaCare, just 4,700 had enrolled as of Nov. 10, according to Avalere Health. Connecticut's exchange has signed up just 4,100, although it has more than 340,000 uninsured. Washington, D.C., home to 63,000 uninsured, has enrolled only 300 people since Oct. 1.

Uninsured Figure Inflated

Experts have long known that the number of uninsured bandied about by reformers was misleading. But a careful look at the uninsured populations also reveals that ObamaCare may not help them much.

First, most uninsured spells are relatively short. A Congressional Budget Office report found that 71% regain coverage they've lost within a year, and almost half get it back in four months or less. Only 16% of those went more than two years.

Such short-term gaps will likely continue under ObamaCare, since people will still be prone to lose coverage between jobs, and can go up to three months without insurance and still avoid paying the mandate penalty.

In addition, the young and healthy are far more likely to be uninsured than any other age group. According to the Census Bureau's latest report, more than 27% of those between 19 and 34 are uninsured, compared with 16% of those 45 to 64.

These are the "young invincibles" that Obama needs to sign up for ObamaCare to keep rates from spiraling upward. But those not buying relatively cheap insurance available today aren't likely to pay more for it in the exchanges.

Census data also show that almost a quarter of the uninsured have household incomes of more than $50,000, which means that many of them won't be eligible for ObamaCare's tax subsidies. What's more, the official number of uninsured is exaggerated.

As many as 6 million who claim to lack coverage are actually enrolled in Medicaid, and another 4 million are eligible for Medicaid but haven't enrolled, according to one analysis. And 9.5 million aren't even U.S. citizens, according to the Census Bureau.

Combined, these groups account for 42% of the 46 million said to be uninsured. And none of them will benefit from ObamaCare.

The law is expected, however, to cover many currently uninsured through Medicaid in the 25 states that agreed to expand eligibility for that program. ObamaCare tried to force every state to sharply raise the Medicaid income threshold, but the Supreme Court ruled the mandate unconstitutional.

Even the White House has admitted that the 46 million figure was an exaggeration, saying at one point it was more like 30 million.

ObamaCare will still leave about 30 million uninsured by 2023 despite spending $1.8 trillion in subsidies, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

While ObamaCare may not do a very good job of covering the uninsured, it could very well increase their ranks.

By some estimates, 11 million people nationwide will have their individual policies canceled. In California alone — a state with 7 million uninsured — more than 1 million are getting cancellation notices, according to the state's insurance commissioner.

And 40-plus million workers could find their rates leap upward because their employers had existing insurance policies canceled and had to buy more expensive ObamaCare-approved plans.

In other words, far more people could lose their current plans this year than are officially counted as uninsured. If only a fraction of these opt not to buy because of high costs — as many are telling the press they will — there could be millions more without insurance next year." via Free Rep.


6/10/13, "If Obamacare is fully implemented, 30 million people will still be without health insurance." PolitiFact


11/8/13, "Obamacare's Biggest Failure So Far: Just 18% Of Uninsured Have Expressed An Interest In Enrolling," Zero Hedge


Reuters citation, only 44% of uninsured
view ObamaCare favorably. (Reuters frames the statistic differently):

11/6/13, "Interest in Obamacare rises despite website problems: Reuters/Ipsos poll," Reuters

"The uninsured view the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, more favorably since online marketplaces opened - 44 percent compared with 37 percent in September, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll. It found that 56 percent oppose the program compared with 63 percent in September."...


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