By Grace-Marie Turner
President Obama is bragging that the administration reached its target of 7 million people enrolled in the Obamacare exchanges, but our insurance-salesman-in-chief has a callous definition of success.
Millions of people have been driven into the Obamacare exchanges and out of private coverage they liked so the president could “make his numbers.” Most are facing higher premiums, higher co-payments, and sky-high deductibles. And we are footing the bill for the $2.6 trillion law that was supposed to get us to near-universal coverage and make health care more affordable but which will do neither.
So the president may brag and highlight the people who have been helped, but millions of people are being harmed and are being ignored in the celebration.
The 7 million number comes from an early Congressional Budget Office estimate. The CBO needed to calculate how many people it believed would gain private health insurance in the exchanges in the first year and therefore what the cost of the taxpayer subsidies would be. The CBO also assumed that the majority of those in the exchanges would come from the ranks of the uninsured.
But, as we now know, as many as two-thirds of those buying coverage in the exchanges were driven out of their private plans because they didn’t comply with the mountain of Obamacare mandates.
At least 6 million people lost their individual private plans — and the doctors and hospitals they liked — because of Obamacare, and the exchange plans they are enrolling in now cost on average 41 percent more.
Yes, the policies cover more benefits (many of which people say they don’t want or need). But those in the Bronze and Silver plans are facing narrower provider networks and deductibles of several thousand dollars that can dramatically increase their out-of-pocket costs.
And yes, an estimated 80 percent now are receiving taxpayer subsidies in the exchanges. But the subsidies aren’t free.
Read more: National Review Online
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