Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 1, 2014

Health Care Enrollment Likely Much Higher

National Journal: “Obamacare friends and foes alike are eagerly watching the law’s insurance-enrollment tally, ready to trumpet every success or pounce on every failure. But as the final figures before the end of open enrollment are posted, a significant chunk of people who bought insurance under the law will be missing from the official tally.”

“That’s because people who bought insurance directly from insurers, and not through the law’s exchanges, will not be included. And just how many people that represents is a figure that will not be available in time for the big enrollment-total reveal—and likely not for a long time after.”

“Off-exchange enrollment is the forgotten piece of the Affordable Care Act, but it could represent millions of people who are also getting covered as a result of the health care law—many of whom are the young, healthy customers the administration is so aggressively pursuing. Unfortunately for the White House, no one really knows what those numbers are, and few are talking about them at all.”

  • Gregory Williams

    This author also forgot to note that people who were previously denied coverage through their employers for any number of reasons signed up through their employer sponsored heath care plans and that many businesses that did not offer health care before now offer it and did not wait for the mandates to do so that they were given in delays for.

    It is also worth remembering that many counted as one enrolled by policy are actually families of two or more who are now covered.

    By this time next year I suspect that the number of uninsured will have dropped to less that 15 million total and that states that are still refusing the Medicare/Medicaid expansions will have started to shrink as a group and will accept, quietly, the expansion as something they deserve since so many other states are doing it…. and many of those red states will do anything they can to avoid letting democrats use it to swing a state back to blue in local and state wide and state based federal elections.

    • shaysite

      Hope you’re right. So far, the usually reliable assumptions about American politics based on historical examples have not held true in the Obama era.

  • Lorehead

    What I would look at is the number of uninsured and underinsured people before and after Obamacare.

    • southerndemnut

      That is a vital statistic but one of many that are useful study the success of this program. You have new people being brought into the system, existing people upgrading to a better policy, as well as the macro-level changes associated with the law encouraging more efficient behavior. Unfortunately everything cannot be narrowed down to one figure with a simple Yes/No answer.

      • Lorehead

        Sure, I agree that other facts matter too, but: if you care whether Obamacare is succeeding in its goal of providing universal health care, that’s the best measure I can think of, and certainly better than the number of sign-ups on the marketplace.

  • Red Phillips

    The grassiest of roots.

  • OBforObama

    That would include us. We had insurance, got “canceled,” had a new policy sent to us from the insurer which conforms to ACA for essentially the same money. So no, the numbers don’t include us.

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