If 5 million have signed up for Obamacare then, according to Jimmy Fallon, “that means at least 50 million tried to sign-up.” Here Cato’s Michael Tanner points out that 5 million doesn’t tell the whole story.
Consider another set of figures: The administration claims that roughly 5 million Americans have signed up for insurance through Obamacare exchanges. That means that if the administration gets really, really lucky over the next twelve days, it might meet its already reduced goal of 6 million enrollments.
But that 5 million number doesn’t tell the whole story: Estimates suggest that only 80 percent of those who have picked a plan have actually paid their first month’s premiums. An additional 3 to 5 percent paid once, but then stopped. Moreover, there is considerable doubt about how many of those signing up through the exchanges were previously uninsured, as opposed to people voluntarily or involuntarily switching plans. According to a report from McKinsey, just 27 percent of those signing up in February were uninsured during the previous year. That’s an improvement over previous surveys, when the rate was only 11 percent, but if that’s true across all the sign-ups, it still suggests that only about 1 million people have gained private insurance because of Obamacare. Worse, just half of the previously uninsured have actually paid their first month’s premium, meaning that we could have as few as 500,000 newly insured.
On the other hand, even the White House admits, at last count, that at least half a million Americans lost their insurance because of Obamacare and were not able to find an affordable replacement.
Now there’s a slogan for Democrats to run on: “We’re spending $41 billion of your money this year and we’ve insured as many people as we’ve uninsured.”