Feature

Obamacare’s illusory enrollments

Amid all of Obamacare’s broken promises and disappointments, the law’s supporters have clung to one consoling thought.

Avik Roy
Forbes.com

Amid all of Obamacare’s broken promises and disappointments, said Avik Roy, the law’s supporters have clung to one consoling thought: Millions of uninsured Americans would finally get health coverage. But it’s beginning to look as if that, too, is an empty dream. Analysis of new data from insurers about the 2.2 million Obamacare enrollments so far indicates that at least two thirds of these people already had coverage, and are simply replacing policies they previously bought on the individual market. One survey, by the prestigious McKinsey firm, found that only 11 percent of the new Obamacare enrollees were previously uninsured. The cost of policies on the exchanges, McKinsey found, is scaring people away. Even the supposed success of Medicaid expansion may be an illusion: Of the 4 million Americans who signed up for Medicaid coverage, another analysis found, only about 7.5 percent are getting coverage because of new Obamacare rules. The rest would have cycled into the program anyway. If these trends hold, and the uninsured fail to flock to Obamacare, “President Obama’s signature legislation may not be long for this world.”

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