Ezra Klein tells us not to worry that Obamacare enrollees might not reach a “bottom-line goal” of 7 million by the end of March.
Arguing that this CBO “estimate” should be “thrown out entirely”, Klein contends that a true definition of Obamacare success is “a function of the mix of people in the exchanges — the “ratio” — rather than the number of people in the exchanges.”
“The reason the ratio matters so much was that it is crucial to keeping premiums low. The White House always thought it possible that demand in the first year would be underwhelming, and until people actually saw the system was working, many would hang back from the system. But so long as the ratio was right, the premiums will remain low, and so when people eventually come to buy insurance, they can get a good deal, and they’ll want to sign up.”
“Or, to put it differently, success in Obamacare’s first year was all about setting up success in Obamacare’s second year.”
“No one will ever look back on Obamacare’s launch and call it a success. The question is whether they’ll look back and say that Obamacare subsequently became a success.”