Gary Cohen, the soon-to-be-former director of the main implementation office at the Health and Human Services Department, stopped by an insurance industry conference Thursday to offer an update on enrollment.As I see it, Obamacare made four fundamental promises:
1) You can keep your plan.
2) You can keep your doctor.
3) Insurance premiums will decline
4) The uninsured will become insured.
The first three have been shown to be false. The fourth promise seemed like the easiest one to meet. But even here the law is falling short. And according to Cohen, it seems like the administration doesn't care that much on counting those who become insured.
Again from the National Journal:
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the health care law will reduce the number of uninsured people by about 24 million over the next few years, and that about 6 million previously uninsured people will gain coverage through the law's exchanges this year. So, is enrollment on track to meet that goal? Overall enrollment is looking pretty decent, but how many of the people who have signed up were previously uninsured?
"That's not a data point that we are really collecting in any sort of systematic way," Cohen told the insurance-industry crowd on Thursday when asked how many of the roughly 4 million enrollees were previously uninsured.The State of NY estimates 70% of its enrollees were not covered before, which seems like a number to brag about. So why would the Feds not even bother to collect in any sort of systematic way the number of enrollees who were previously not insured?
I come back to Walter Russell Mead's assessment of the ACA, The roll out of Healthcare.gov was "an act of incomprehensible incompetence," of a law that was "an ugly piece of garbage." It's a close call which is more horrible, the incompetence or the garbage.