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Stories investigate ObamaCare’s higher costs, lower benefits; as 2013 ends, clear that many more Americas will have lost their insurance than signed up for ObamaCare

by | Dec 30, 2013


By Dave Andrusko

healthcaresite6A few thoughts today and a few more tomorrow as we are just hours away from when the impact of ObamaCare really hits the American populous—January 1, 2014.

* From “That Health Care Law, By the Numbers,” by the Associated Press’s Calvin Woodward

“4 million-plus: People whose individual plans were canceled because the plans didn’t measure up under the law [ObamaCare]. The government changed rules to allow substandard plans to exist for another year; it’s not known how many canceled policies will be revived. Another rules change allowed cancellation victims to sign up for bare-bones catastrophic coverage.

How many have signed up, through and the state health exchanges? Up to but no more than 2 million. That’s the “good news,” according to Jim Geraghty.

The bad news?  “That puts them at about 26 percent of their enrollment goal of 7 million, with half the enrollment period passed.” (And, of course, like all Obama numbers always, there will be a later revision of the number that has supposed signed up–downward.)

Conclusion? “[W]e’re still ending 2013 with more people having lost their insurance than gained it,” Geraghty reminds us.

* We know from multiple stories (including and that Millennials—18-29—are turning on Obama and on ObamaCare. “57 percent of millennials disapprove of Obamacare, with 40 percent saying it will worsen their quality of care and a majority believing it will drive up costs. Only 18 percent say Obamacare will improve their care. Among 18-to-29-year-olds currently without health insurance, less than one-third say they’re likely to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges,” according to a survey by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

* One more. I have relatives who are the owners of small businesses. In the last month, media outlets are beginning to understand what they have known since 2010: the costs of ObamaCare for them are prohibitive. NBC News did an investigative piece on the effects on workers at one auto dealership. The blogger Allahpundit captured what is taking place:

“A sneak preview at America 2014 from the Ghost of Christmas Future. It’s not the premiums that are killing these people, although those are higher in some cases too. It’s the out-of-pocket costs. The media coverage of O-Care has paid less attention to those for the simple reason that no one’s actually incurred them yet. That’ll change on Thursday.”

As is the case over and over again, the company’s existing insurance policy was cancelled because it didn’t meet the ObamaCare requirements. It would have cost the auto dealership almost 50% more to have kept deductibles and out-of-pocket costs at the 2012 levels, according to insurance broker Michael Harp, quoted in the NBC News story. So the company gave their workers a set amount of money from which they could either not get insurance (and pay a penalty) or get a policy through the healthcare exchanges.

The most significant conclusion Harp drew?

“He said the biggest surprise to him in how the law impacts small business clients is ‘how many people are losers versus winners. … There are some people who do come out ahead, but I would say the overwhelming majority, they’re paying much higher rates and they have lower benefits.’”

In addition

“Harp says what is happening at this dealership is representative of the other small businesses he deals with. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees currently provide health insurance to about 17 million U.S. workers, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.”

And, oh by the way, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean appeared on Fox News Sunday yesterday. While he predicted that in the end ObamaCare “will work,” he also acknowledged “that Obamacare would suffer additional setbacks as it continues rolling out next year,” according to The Hill newspaper.

Dean simply reiterated what everybody knows—the Obama administration is having major problems convincing younger, healthier people to sign up. Who is? “The data does show that less healthy people are signing up,” Dean said. “Younger people are signing up less frequently than hoped.”

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Categories: ObamaCare
Tags: ObamaCare