Nov 27 2013

ObamaCare Will Uninsure More People, Not Insure More People

Published by at 1:58 pm under All General Discussions,Obamacare

Major Update At End

It’s becoming a sad, laughable fact.

DC Political Spin (aka, lying to the naive masses) has hit an all time new level dishonesty under the Democrats and President Obama.

  • If you like your insurance, you can keep it
  • If you like your doctor(s), you can keep them
  • Obamacare makes insurance affordable (after all, it is called the “Affordable Care Act”)
  • Obamacare will expand the pool of insured in America
  • is on track for an October 1, 2013  “Go Live” launch
  • is secure and protects personal identifiable information (PII)
  • will be fully working on December 1, 2013

The BS is meter is pegged with this administration [H/T Ed Morrissey at Hot Air]:

CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille said errors that persist past this weekend would be “intermittent” and, in line with a promise made by the White House, would not affect the vast majority of the site’s users.

But Bataille acknowledged that some would still experience “periods of suboptimal performance” by the system due to either heavy traffic or technical issues that are still being addressed.

The system will not work perfectly on Dec. 1, but it will work much better than it did in October,” Bataille said.

But according to an insurance industry source, though the 834 problems are getting better, there is still a long way to go. Insurers still haven’t reached the point where they can feel confident that the data is reliable.

As a result, though they have been able to process some payments from individuals, they’ve only been able to do so on piecemeal basis in cases where they are fully confident in the data, often because it’s been verified by hand.

The second quote is from this piece, which confirms what I was predicting for weeks now:

Though insurers traditionally haven’t counted individuals as enrolled until they’ve paid their first month’s premiums, the HHS report declared, “Enrollment figures include those who have selected a plan and have or have not yet paid the first month’s premium.”

HHS did not provide a number for those who have paid.

Behind the scenes, when an individual selects a plan, the federal system transmits a file, known as an “834,” with all of the relevant information about that individual and his or her plan selection.

These files have been plagued by errors, from spouses and children being mixed up to enrollments being duplicated or inadvertently cancelled. According to HHS, they have “completed fixes for two-thirds of the high-priority bugs that our tech team working with issuers identified as being responsible for the issues with 834 transactions and other issuer priorities.”

Shading the truth to hide the brutal facts: ObamaCare is barely functioning, and is only doing so by the manual process of taking corrupted information, contacting individuals to fix it as best they can, and signing people up directly. You can’t get to success from here.

When Obama’s spin machine claimed “106,185 Americans had signed up“, it was part lie. For that number of Americans, the process was not complete and does not represent the number “insured” under ObamaCare.

On the flip side, ObamaCare has forced millions of individuals off those same plans Obama and the Democrats promised people could keep.


As of mid November, barely 100,000 newly uninsured were offsetting the millions of policies cancelled AND the millions of people without insurance. Because Obamacare obliterated nearly ALL insurance policies at once, a manual process of re-insuring was never going to work.

There is no way to manually fix the mess Obamacare has produced. If after 6 weeks you get 100,000 out of 5 million  who had their policies terminated,  January 1, 2014 will arrive with 4+ million newly uninsured Americans.

And that is just in the individual market. The small business market makes it even worse. Running a small business I can tell the costs increases we have seen over the last two years have been incredible (as insurance companies build in the costs of pre-existing conditions, etc.) We came close to not providing health insurance at all, but were able to hold on – for now.

Most other small companies are not so fortunate:

Also experiencing difficulties is Betsy Atkinson, owner of a real estate company who has been forced to terminate her employees’ insurance policies, one of who is battling kidney cancer. Atkinson apologized “They’re [the employees] are going to have to find their own insurance, I’m sorry.”

It is heart wrenching on an employer to make these do-or-die decisions. But it is forced triage because ObamaCare had to fix things. And boy, what a fix!

Larger companies are doing their own variant on increasing the uninsured, by moving many jobs to part time. There is no way to provide health insurance and survive if the competition down the street is not. The cost of Obamacare destroys those businesses who have to fold that cost into the price of products and services while their competition does not. Free market forces, clearly something Obama and the Democrats just don’t get.  Those same forces that drive cost of goods down to the most affordable levels also have a reverse effect. Burning out high cost elements.

The website was the first domino in the coming health care death spiral. It will leave a couple million more –  mostly healthy Americans – uninsured while those in need of expensive treatments will flock to buy insurance. Small companies will un-insure millions more, pushing their employees into the volatile individual market. And larger companies will un-insure millions more by pushing employees into part time slots.

Add it up, and the result is clear: ObamaCare Will Uninsure More People, Not Insure More People

The answer is clear and simple. Get government out of health care (i.e., dump Obamacare), but keep the mandates on pre-existing conditions, some minimal services (not one size fits all), and let the market do its thing. It will mean ill patients will pay higher premiums, but that is the cost of more expensive treatment. Much of it will be subsidized by the healthy people in the insurance pools. But that is better than were we are heading.

Much better.

Major Update: Reuters confirms my assessment:

The Obama administration says it is on target to make its problematic healthcare insurance website work smoothly for the “vast majority” of users by this weekend, but some Americans who want coverage by Jan. 1 might not be able to get it – even if they successfully navigate the portal and sign up for a plan.

The problem, according to insurance industry officials and other specialists, is that the administration is behind schedule in building a computer program needed to verify the names and coverage choices of enrollees in the system created by the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.

Besides verifying enrollees, the computer program – which administration officials acknowledge will not be finished until mid-January or even February – also will be used to help determine which low-income enrollees are eligible for government subsidies to help them pay for insurance, and to make sure that those subsidies get to insurers.

That makes the program, known generally as the “back end” of the Obamacare bureaucracy, crucial to the new health system’s goal of helping millions of uninsured and under-insured Americans.

It also means that even if the website is able to finally handle the flood of enrollees that officials expect, the administration could face a backlash from people who have enrolled but whose paperwork will not be completed by the time their coverage is supposed to take effect on Jan. 1.

ObamaCare: Insurance that costs more and covers fewer people. Government at its finest.

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “ObamaCare Will Uninsure More People, Not Insure More People”

  1. Sabastian says:

    This doesn’t look like changing horses in mid stream. It’s more like shooting your horse in hope that another horse will come along.

    My experience says that when things are crashing down, one should stick with what ever is working well enough. I can’t believe problems with a hosting center have much to do with the melt down. More likely it another attempt to shift blame.

    I guess I’m not as smart as our government.

    The Department of Health and Human Services has tapped Hewlett-Packard to replace Verizon Communications’ Terremark subsidiary as the Web-hosting provider for, the federal health insurance marketplace that has had a troubled rollout since launching in October.

    A spokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services division confirmed the move Wednesday but noted that the change in providers had been contracted well before the website launched.

    (Read more: Nine Senate Dems push for Obamacare work-around)

    “As we think about the overall performance and functionality of the site, redundancy is a critical part of our planning and we are working to ensure it in all aspects of the system,” the spokesman said in an email to CNBC.

    Dow Jones first reported the pending change in Web hosts.

    Terremark’s data center contract ends in March. HP won the right to take over the job this past July.

  2. Rick C says:

    I have been getting the same feeling over the past couple of weeks. ObamaCare will likely result in fewer people insured rather than more.

  3. momdear1 says:

    Apparently the cuts in Medicare to fund Obamacare have already been activated. 5 years ago Medicare paid for cataract surgery and implanted corrective lenses. A friend just had cataract surgery and she was told that she would have to pay $1500 extra for implanted corrective lenses. Medicare still pays for one pair of glasses after the surgery and I can’t see the difference In paying for corrective implanted lenses and lenses in glasses. Wonder what else has been deleted from w3hat Medicare will pay for.

  4. Redteam says:

    momdear, I’m not a fan of obamacare, but I don’t think the change you mentioned has actually happened. I had cataract surgery 5 years ago and had a ‘special’ lens implanted in one eye, standard in other eye, and I had to pay an extra $600. My wife had it 2 years ago and had a ‘special’ lens in one eye and standard in other. extra cost was $800. I believe if you don’t have special lens, just standard in both, there would be no extra charge. I have heard of no changes in medicare as of now.

  5. Neo says:

    So the “Affordable Care Act” isn’t affordable, will insure fewer, doesn’t let you keep your policy or doctor.

    Let just call it ObamaDoesn’tCare