In response to Obamacare Enrollment Mix Looking Worse Than Expected:
You’re right on about how the demographic mix of ObamaCare enrollments would be trumpeted unto the heavens if it was good, rather than being guarded more closely than anything Edward Snowden stole. The notion that this data is simply unavailable is patently ludicrous. It could be compiled by hand in a matter of days, no matter how badly Obama’s $600 million computer system is broken.
For that matter, not a single insurance provider in the land sells policies without amassing considerable demographic information on the buyers. There are still private companies in the mix here, after all – ObamaCare is a partial nationalization of the industry, not a Venezuela-style smash-and-grab, at least not yet. The private companies still use the same data systems they’ve perfected over the course of years to process enrollees. If the Administration wanted to release demographic totals, HHS Secretary Sebelius could ask all the providers to generate reports for her on Thursday, and the data would be totaled and ready for media release no later than Friday morning. We don’t know the demographic mix because it’s being hidden from us, deliberately, and it’s hidden from us because it’s really, really bad. Our supposedly information-hungry Pulitzer-seeking media is remarkably incurious about it.
Another clue that it’s bad news: the insurance companies went absolutely bonkers when Republicans started talking about erasing the bailout provisions of the Affordable Care Act. If you think it’s a cynical joke to call it the “Affordable” Care Act now, just wait until you find out what your share of the insurance industry bailout will be. The industry wouldn’t be so nervous about losing these provisions if they were looking at a nice, healthy mix of Young Invincibles in their enrollment reports.
One more reason to suspect both overall ObamaCare enrollment and the demographic mix is bad news: the Administration has been caught lying about how many Medicaid enrollments ObamaCare is generating. In the early days of this clusterfark, they used to quietly lump the Medicaid referrals in with ObamaCare applicants, to goose the numbers out of stop-the-presses disaster territory. They got caught, so eventually they stopped mixing the two together… and then they became strangely eager to boast of how many ObamaCare applicants were actually getting shuffled off to the Medicaid welfare system.
There’s not really anything “strange” about this, because the Administration can see those polls showing mounting energy for ObamaCare repeal. They need Medicaid beneficiaries as hostages. Repeal ObamaCare and you’ll throw four million poor folks out into the street to die! During the rougher stretches of bad ACA headlines, Obama apologists pretty much gave up about discussing ObamaCare itself, and became entirely focused on touting the number of new Medicaid sign-ups.
Only… it turns out there aren’t four million of them. Not even close. Not even a tenth that many. Even critics tended to accept the number because the Medicaid system has been up and running for decades; it seemed unlikely that even Team Obama would try misrepresenting those numbers. But they did.
As Sean Trende noted at RealClearPolitics, ObamaCare propagandists have been counting people who would have enrolled in Medicaid anyway with new referrals from the bugtastic ObamaCare exchanges, presenting the combined total as a tidal wave rolling in from ObamaCare. Only about half of the Medicaid enrollments since ObamaCare launch come from states that actually participated in the Medicaid expansion. It takes some doing to separate ObamaCare-related enrollments from the normal sign-up rates for the remaining two million, but even being very generous to the Administration – to the point of literally doubling the most precise estimate he could calculate, just to be sporting – Trende only came up with about 380,000 new Medicaid enrollees thus far.
That’s not exactly an overwhelming number, especially since ObamaCare apologists just spent a few months telling us that the 6 million people who lost coverage due to Obama’s Big Lie are a statistically insignificant pocketful of anecdotes. Every single number this Administration provides with reference to ObamaCare must be presumed fraudulent, until hard data is provided to back it up, and the White House wastebaskets are checked for the hard data they didn’t want us to see.