Disillusionment Sets In: Obamacare Enrollments for 2016 Far Below Estimates

obcrAbout 12.7 million people enrolled in Obamacare for 2016, both renewals and new signups. The numbers are well below earlier rosy predictions and just up last year’s 11.7 million. Virtually all the optimistic projections about Obamacare have failed to play out, hurting health organizations and consumers.

In 2010 the Congressional Budget Office predicted that there would be 21 million enrolled in 2016. The Rand Corporation predicted 27 million. The CBO also underestimated the number of people who would qualify for subsidies by a factor of four. Insurers projected people over age 55 — more expensive to insure on average— would make up 18 percent of enrollees, but it looks like they will constitute 28 percent of 2016 enrollees. Making matters worse, if last year is an indication, around one million of this year’s enrollees won’t submit a payment this year.

As a result, insurers like UnitedHealth and Aetna who had been told they would see a broader, healthier risk pool are now questioning the sustainability of the Obamacare exchanges. Some have already collapsed. The Washington Times reported on Monday that half of Obama’s co-op plans have failed. “This leads to the conclusion that Obamacare exchanges are, in fact, high-risk pools for sick individuals who cannot get coverage elsewhere,” wrote John Graham, senior fellow at the Independent Institute. “The people who are flocking to Obamacare are those making lower incomes, qualifying for subsidies. They are not a properly functioning, broad-based market for health insurance.”

Read the rest of the article at The Stream

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