CBO Cuts ObamaCare Signup Estimate By 40 Percent

AP Photo/Gerry Broome
AP Photo/Gerry Broome

ObamaCare: we’re forced to buy it at gunpoint, other people are forced to pick up part of the tab at gunpoint, and they still can’t get enough suckers to buy it.

Has there ever been a more humiliating failure in the history of idiotic Big Government schemes than a subsidized product – which the very Constitution of the United States was inexcusably warped (twice!) to midwife, so that formerly free Americans could be hit with special taxes if they failed to buy it from a neo-fascist fusion of central planners and Big Business cronies – but which nevertheless fails to meet sales projections?

The Washington Examiner reports on the big ObamaCare miss, which amounts to a nearly 40 percent reduction of the CBO projection:

In a new budget outlook released Monday, the Congressional Budget Office said 13 million people are expected to buy plans through the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges this year, down from 21 million customers it projected last year. Eleven million of those covered will be eligible for need-based subsidies while 2 million won’t be eligible, the agency estimated.

The new numbers are closer to enrollment goals set this year by the Obama administration, which said it hopes for 10 million paying Obamacare customers at the end of the third enrollment season. Officials set their goal much lower than what the CBO had projected in March, when it said an estimated 21 million would sign up in 2016.

The budget office said Monday it has downgraded its enrollment estimate partly because it expects more people not eligible for the income-based subsidies to buy plans outside the Obamacare exchanges. In March, the agency will release a fuller update of its enrollment expectations.

The Administration’s scaled-back “hopes” are nothing like what it originally projected for enrollment, but only by reducing expectations can they pretend this is anything less than a disaster. Enrollment growth has effectively halted, the customer base frozen at around 10 million people… but the con artists who pushed ObamaCare on us said there were 50 million people without insurance who were eager to buy, if only the heartless insurance industry didn’t exclude them for pre-existing conditions, and Uncle Sam helped out with a mix of subsidies and price controls.

The old excuses for ObamaCare growth below projections were that people didn’t understand how the new system worked, and the obscene scandal of the HealthCare.gov launch disaster – for which no one was ever held accountable – dragged the first-year enrollment numbers down.

Eventually the commissars began to whisper of the truth they hid from American voters for so long: the trans-Constitutional tax/penalty was kept very low in the first few years, so as not to scare the taxpaying rabbits out of the trap set for them by socialism, so it just plain made sense for healthy young people to pass on super-expensive, nearly useless ObamaCare insurance and pay the fine. Once the penalty ramped up to the crushing levels the commissars wanted all along, those unruly proles would fall in line and buy insurance, as the People’s Glorious Five-Year Plan demanded!

Except they didn’t.

None of those excuses holds water any more, but enrollment figures are still missing projections by huge margins. While the CBO suggests a lack of subsidies might be keeping many of those potential customers away, the rest of the enrollment data suggests few actual or potential purchases are wholly ineligible for subsidies.

It’s more likely that word of mouth about the incredibly poor quality of ObamaCare insurance – doctor restrictions, high premiums, and crushing out-of-pocket expenses – are making the “Affordable” Care Act a tough sell… especially to the healthy young suckers whose excessive premiums are supposed to finance the rest of the scheme, with their subsidies acting as direct pipeline from the Treasury into the coffers of Obama’s insurance industry cronies.

Obama’s phony numbers on the size of the uninsured population were always pure propaganda, designed to intimidate voters out of opposing his plan – how dare you selfish dissidents consign 50 million people to death without health insurance! The real uninsured population was less than a quarter of the numbers he threw around, and many of them ended up on Medicaid.

That’s another truth the ObamaCare scammers kept from the American people, because they knew they would badly lose an honest debate about radically increasing the size of the awful Medicaid program. The Washington Examiner reports that the Medicaid bubble is beginning to swell, leaving both federal and state taxpayers on the hook:

[The Congressional Budget Office] also said that over the next decade the federal government will spend 4 percent more on Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor, than it projected in August. Now, Medicaid spending is expected to reach $187 billion over the next 10 years.

That’s because CBO now expects more spending on newly eligible Obamacare enrollees than originally anticipated, saying 14.5 million Americans eligible for Medicaid under the healthcare law will enroll in the program in 2025 instead of 11.5 million as last estimated.

The bad news is, those Medicaid costs are going to get a lot worse before they get better. The worse news is that they’ll never get better. This is partly by design, because Medicaid will become the cattle car that ferries Americans, against their will, into the grim future of single-payer socialized medicine.

The Left’s answer to an imploding Medicaid program and malnourished ObamaCare will be declaring that what remains of the private sector is the real problem, and the only answer is to shove everyone into Medicaid forever, no matter how many trillions in deficit spending and tax increases it takes.

The socialists are bit nervous that the insurance industry will collapse before they’re ready to kill it. Those subpar ObamaCare enrollment numbers are hitting insurance company profits hard, causing many of them to withdraw from the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

In a telling detail, another Washington Examiner piece on Wednesday noted that Anthem is just about the only big insurance provider making money… but it’s because their Medicaid business is way up, while their enrollments in paid ObamaCare insurance are down 6.6 percent from 2014. They’ve got over 10 percent of the Affordable Care Act market, and their enrollment is declining, even as the full force of ObamaCare’s subsidies and mandates are turned against the American people.

Kill this thing before it drags you into socialized medical hell, America. You might not get another chance, if the 2016 election goes the wrong way.


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