Goalposts Moved Again, As ObamaCare Comes Up 24 Million Enrollees Short

Alberto Abin walks out of the UniVista Insurance company office after shopping for a health plan under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, on December 15, 2015 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

After surveying the latest Congressional Budget Office numbers, Jeffrey Anderson of the Weekly Standard restates what should be obvious to everyone by now: “ObamaCare is basically an expensive Medicaid expansion coupled with 2,400 pages of liberty-sapping mandates.”

So great is the failure of this insanely expensive, Constitution-shredding boondoggle that ObamaCare’s dwindling band of defenders has to cook the books with flamethrowers to conceal how badly it flopped:

Three years ago, on the eve of Obamacare’s implementation, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that President Obama’s centerpiece legislation would result in an average of 201 million people having private health insurance in any given month of 2016. Now that 2016 is here, the CBO says that just 177 million people, on average, will have private health insurance in any given month of this year—a shortfall of 24 million people.

Indeed, based on the CBO’s own numbers, it seems possible that Obamacare has actually reduced the number of people with private health insurance. In 2013, the CBO projected that, without Obamacare, 186 million people would be covered by private health insurance in 2016—160 million on employer-based plans, 26 million on individually purchased plans. The CBO now says that, with Obamacare, 177 million people will be covered by private health insurance in 2016—155 million on employer-based plans, 12 million on plans bought through Obamacare’s government-run exchanges, and 9 million on other individually purchased plans (plus a rounding error of 1 million).

In other words, it would appear that a net 9 million people have lost their private health plans, thanks to Obamacare—with a net 5 million people having lost employer-based plans and a net 4 million people having lost individually purchased plans.

None of this is to say that fewer people have “coverage” under Obamacare—it’s just not private coverage. In 2013, the CBO projected that 34 million people would be on Medicaid or CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program) in 2016. The CBO now says that 68 million people will be on Medicaid or CHIP in 2016—double its earlier estimate. It turns out that Obamacare is pretty much a giant Medicaid expansion.

How can anyone paper over a disaster of this magnitude? Easy – just magically rewrite the projections for the imaginary world in which ObamaCare didn’t pass, then claim – without any substantiation whatsoever – that the number of people in that ObamaCare-free Earth-2 who have private insurance would be 20 million less than CBO projected in 2013, and they’d all be on Medicaid instead.

When the projections that were used to sell a massive government program are retroactively revised to make it look better, We the People can rest assured we are being ripped off. That’s doubly true when the end result of the process is something America would have rebelled against, before they were “socially engineered” at their own expense.

American taxpayers were charged a staggering amount of money – and have lost countless man-hours grappling with ObamaCare’s crashtastic website and gruesome bureaucracy – to get a stealth Medicaid expansion they never would have agreed to, if it had been presented to them honestly, beginning with the 2008 presidential election. A lot of people lost insurance plans they love, for no better reason than Democrats’ lust for power, and their institutional refusal to be honest about their socialist plans.

Of course, the same media that peddled Obama’s phony statistics, phony doctors, and false promises to create the illusion of devastating health care crisis has absolutely zero interest in turning the spotlight on ObamaCare’s many, many victims.

Socialism cannot muster even the faintest pretense of compassion for its victims.  Those who have been hosed by the “Affordable” Care Act are non-persons, expected to suffer in silence, their complaints as invalid and immoral as a billionaire who objects to a tax increase. Their complaints don’t even matter when it’s obvious they were made to suffer for no good reason at all.

The people who inflicted ObamaCare on America don’t consider a hideously overpriced stealth Medicaid exemption to be “failure.” Single-payer health care has been their not-so-secret agenda all along.

Pushing a huge number of Americans out of private insurance, and into Medicaid, is a major step toward that goal. (As Anderson points out, the nature of ObamaCare’s subsidies, which are paid directly to insurers, also drags the American public closer to a “single-payer” mindset.)

Doctor’s offices grow ever more distant from the free market. In a few more years, when people have started to forget the high quality and lower prices of insurance before ObamaCare came along, it will be time to take the next step. Resistance will be far more difficult when a growing percentage of the populace already thinks of health care as a “free” benefit provided by their benevolent rulers.


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