Healthcare Expert: Obamacare Hasn't Put a Dent in Number of Uninsured
Howard J. Peterson, a healthcare consultant and blogger for the Philadelphia Inquirer, analyzes figures on Obamacare enrollment to see how many previously uninsured Americans have found coverage thanks to the health insurance law:
It is estimated that nearly three million individuals have signed up for Medicaid for the first time. Let's assume that all of these individuals gained coverage because of the newly expanded Medicaid program.
McKinsey & Co. conducted a study on enrollment through Healthcare.gov and the state insurance exchanges using data as of Feb. 1. At that time, 3.3 million had enrolled. McKinsey concluded that only 14 percent, or about 500,000 individuals, were "actual uninsured who have actually gained health coverage." An additional 13 percent of uninsured individuals had signed up for Obamacare but had not paid the premium. Of those who had signed up by that time, 73 percent either had insurance and preferred to choose a plan on the exchange or enrolled because their individual plans were canceled.
On Thursday, the Obama administration announced that enrollment had reached six million. Using McKinsey's findings of 14 percent gaining new coverage, only 900,000 previously uninsured individuals will have acquired insurance as a result of the exchanges.
So, there remain nearly 35 million uninsured citizens. No additional enrollment in Obamacare for 2014 was scheduled after March 31, though the administration extended the deadline last week. The penalty for uninsured individuals has been delayed until 2016, reducing the motivation for additional sign-ups. The employer mandate has also been moved until 2016.
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March 31st is the deadline for individuals to sign up for a health insurance policy or else face penalties under the law. However, as Breitbart News's John Sexton has shown, the individual mandate can be easily bypassed thanks to a little-promoted "hardship exemption" recently added to forms at Healthcare.gov.