Roughly 40,000 People Have Enrolled In Obamacare To Date

Things don't seem to be going well for the Affordable Care Act.

Healthhcaredotgov

The first set of enrolling numbers for plans covered under the Affordable Care Act, and they aren’t nearly at the level they were expected to be:

Roughly 40,000 Americans have signed up for private insurance through the flawed federal online insurance marketplace since it opened six weeks ago, according to two people with access to the figures.

That amount is a tiny fraction of the total projected enrollment for the 36 states where the federal government is running the online health-care exchange, indicating the slow start to the president’s initiative. The first concrete evidence of the popularity — and accessibility — of the new federal insurance exchange emerged as the White House has been preparing to release this week the first official tally of how many people have chosen coverage using the Web site, HealthCare.gov.

One administration official said Monday that the official figure will include people who have paid for a health plan and those who simply picked a plan and put it in their online shopping cart.

The administration’s only known previous projections come from internal memos, released on Capitol Hill, that predicted that about a half-million Americans would have selected insurance by the end of October. It was unclear whether that figure, cited in a letter last month by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), included only people who enrolled in private health plans or also low-income people who joined Medicaid.

The figure of 40,000 disclosed Monday did not include Medicaid sign-ups. At least 440,000 people have signed up for Medicaid through the health-care initiative, according to Avalere Health, a consulting firm that has been tracking sign-ups. Budget forecasters have projected that in 2014 there will be a much more even balance between private insurance and Medicaid participants.

In recent days, officials inside the White House and at the Department of Health and Human Services have been working to dampen public expectations for enrollment, in light of a rollout of the online marketplace that they have acknowledged has been disastrous. HealthCare.gov has been riddled with hardware and software problems that have stymied many Americans trying to shop for or purchase a health plan.

“I can tell you our early enrollment numbers are going to be very low,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified last week before a Senate committee.

According to one person with knowledge of the figures, slightly fewer than 40,000 people had selected a health plan as of last week. The figures are derived from reports that the government sends to each participating insurer early every evening, letting them know which customers have signed up that day. The figure was first reported Monday by the Wall Street Journal.

White House and HHS officials declined to confirm the 40,000 figure. HHS spokeswoman Erin Shields Britt reiterated what has become the administration’s talking points in recent days. She noted that the exchange’s technical problems have hindered enrollment — and that sign-ups also were slow when Massachusetts several years ago became the first state to run a similar insurance exchange.

The main reason for the low numbers, of course, is likely the technical problems that the Federal Exchange website, Healthcare.gov, has been experiencing since its launch on October 1st, problems that have caused the site to be completely or partially inaccessible  for hours at a time and have also led authorities to take the website in the weekends and on evenings as part of the effort to fix the numerous problems with the website itself by the promised deadline of November 30th, which is now just 18 days away. Obviously, if that deadline passes and the Federal website continues to have problems than enrollment is not likely to increase, and that will become a bigger problem as the deadlines at the end of this year and later in 2014 continue to approach quickly.

With the open enrollment period ending on March 31st, there’s arguably still more than enough time for the system to get up and running and accepting applications. The trouble that the Administration faces in this regard, though, is two-fold. First, by many accounts the website fixes are reportedly not going well at all and the prospect of having to push the repair deadline past November 30th is very real. If that happens, that is only likely to further diminish consumer confidence and make it less likely that people will even attempt to sign up. Second, even if the website is repaired, the negative publicity that the whole system has gotten over the past six weeks, due not only the website problems but also to policy cancellations and sticker shock among those who have been able to go shopping for new policies, the prospect exists that some people will simply decline to sign up for a new policy at all and instead opt to pay the rather minimal penalty that the individual mandate imposes.

Things are slightly better in those states that have set up their own exchange, but not by much:

In comparison, 14 states and the District are operating separate exchanges, and an analysis released Monday by Avalere shows that about 49,000 people have signed up for coverage in those exchanges — representing about 3 percent of the eventual expected enrollment in those states. Although the state exchanges have varied in how easy they are to use, few have been marred by technical problems as severe as the federal HealthCare.gov. Of those exchanges, the District has had the smallest proportion of anticipated insurance-seekers sign up, with 300 people — or 1 percent — enrolled as of the end of last week. Richard Sorian, a spokesman for DC Health Link, said that “most people do not have the luxury of paying for coverage in October, months before a bill is due.” The analysis, however, includes people who have picked a plan but not yet paid for it.

The fact that we’re seeing low enrollment even at the state level, where there have been few if any technical problems according to most reports, suggests that we’re dealing with the prospect that the PPACA may be dealing with a bigger problem than just a bad website. If the system doesn’t get enough people signed up by the March 31st deadline, or more importantly if the younger, healthier cohort decides to forego insurance, then it will pose serious problems for the “community rating” that the insurance companies will have to do to determine premiums going forward. Theoretically, in such a world consumers could find that their insurance premiums after the first year of coverage will end up spiking in order to cover the low enrollment rates and the demographic imbalance. If that happens, then the future of the entire system would seem to be in doubt just as the President enters the final two years of his Presidency, a period when he will be for all intents and purposes a lame duck. So, the future of Obamacare is still very hazy but, with these enrollment figures, it’s not looking good at all.

FILED UNDER: Health Care, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Heisenberg says:

    This happened in Massachusetts, too. Very low adoption in the early months, but enrollment picked up as the deadline loomed.

  2. Thomas says:

    This is unbelievable. Even the President is now concurring with Republicans, and admitting that their warnings were not scare tactics, but the fact.

  3. C. Clavin says:

    Your Obama Derangement Syndrome is so cute…while being completely transparent.

    The main reason for the low numbers, of course, is likely the technical problems that the Federal Exchange website, Healthcare.gov, has been experiencing

    Well…either that…or humans tend to procrastinate up to a deadline.
    Romneycare:

    Just 123 people signed up during the Bay State’s first month of open enrollment. By contrast, 20 percent of the first year’s 36,000 enrollees purchased coverage in the last month before an individual mandate penalty kicked in.

    http://adenovir.tumblr.com/image/65989459460
    Here’s a clue Doug…hating Obama shouldn’t prevent you from thinking.

  4. jib10 says:

    @Heisenberg: Yep, no doubt the web site problems have lowered the number but probably not by as much as people think. I have been buying health care on the open market for over 20 years and I will be buying on the WA state web site soon but no hurry. Although my current plan was ‘canceled’, the one they automatically replaced it with is almost exactly the same (in WA we have banned existing conditions on insurance for years). It does not kick in till Jan 1 so I have time. I will let them get the bugs ironed out before I go. FWIW, it is the same thing I do with any new software release including new O/S versions. Never go early. Always wait.

  5. C. Clavin says:
  6. C. Clavin says:

    I wonder if Doug pays his taxes months ahead of time…or waits until the April 15th deadline like the rest of the America????

  7. JohnMcC says:

    I went to the healthcare-dot-gov site yesterday. A preliminary screen told me that it was almost certain to not be operating because of repairs being done. The ‘instant chat’ feature was very helpful. I was able to discover the companies and the specific policies being offered by my state (Florida). I was not able to ‘enroll’. I contacted BC/BS and Humana by web and phone. I will be able to get a ‘platinum’ plan that will cover my wife (a very recent cancer surviver) a very extensive HMO plan with $1,500.00/year maximum expense for $420.00/month. If the web site is still down in a few weeks I’ll simply buy it from the company directly.

    I’m on my way to serfdom!

    Why are adults even having this conversation, Mr Mataconis? If you want to make a purchase and find that LandsEnd isn’t a website you can quickly navigate but you know the brand and size of the item you want could you find another way to buy it? You pretend to libertarianism but want some nanny state to provide you with flawless internet access. As my old dad used to say, ‘waddaya want? Egg in yer beer?’ Grow up!

  8. Jr says:

    @Heisenberg: Yup, this will pick up as we approach the deadline…..but the website problems have to be fixed

  9. anjin-san says:

    I spent some time on the phone with Covered CA, it was a much better consumer experience than my average interaction with Comcast or Verizon Wireless.

  10. Gavrilo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I see. The millions of long-suffering Americans literally bankrupted due to health care costs and unable to get insurance because of pre-existing conditions are just procrastinating? Right.

  11. C. Clavin says:

    @Jr:
    No question…the website needs to be fixed…and the outgrowth problems of cancelled policies needs to be addressed in some way.
    No question.
    In the meantime…The GOP will try to repeal Obamacare again this week or next. I’m not kidding. Seriously…they are.
    http://www.salon.com/2013/11/12/gop_about_to_hurt_itself_again_new_ploy_to_kill_obamacare_will_blow_up/

  12. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:
    Actually those with pre-existing conditions probably have already been helped…that provision kicked in some time ago. Do you not know whats going on? And if not…how can you have your panties in such a twist?
    As for the rest…if Romneycare…the identical program…is any indication…yes.
    Sorry the facts don’t fit your pre-conceived bias.
    Waddya want…egg with your beer? Grow up.
    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/roughly-40000-people-have-enrolled-in-obamacare-to-date/#comment-1831971

  13. David M says:

    This is like noticing that water is wet, as the people who received cancellation letters have until Dec 15 to apply for coverage starting January 1st. If they do nothing, they may keep their replacement policy briefly and switch to any exchange plan the first 3 months of 2014. Anyone not covered has until March 31 to start the application process and avoid the penalty. A slow initial enrollment was expected even if the federal (Republican) exchange didn’t have any problems.

  14. James Pearce says:

    If that happens, then the future of the entire system would seem to be in doubt just as the President enters the final two years of his Presidency, a period when he will be for all intents and purposes a lame duck.

    Just in time for Chris Christie to become a healthcare wonk in anticipation of his run.

    Oh, wait, Hillary’s running too? With healthcare? Yeah, I can see why the right is leading with Obamacare…

  15. Dave Schuler says:

    @anjin-san:

    Wow. Talk about damning with faint praise. Both of those outfits are notorious for poor customer service.

  16. Dave Schuler says:

    We’ll know in due course. If the end of the month comes and goes without the bulk of the problems with the web site and backroom processing having been fixed, I presume that some will be revising their expectations.

    It might be helpful if we knew what we were comparing. The Massachusetts plan featured a working manual system. You could submit your paperwork and pay your first premium and you were covered. It appears to be the case that the PPACA’s online exchanges don’t have such a manual system underpinning them. Even the telephone support people are using the web application.

    But, as I say, we’ll know in due course. If people haven’t applied and paid their first premium by Dec 15, it’ll be darned hard for them to come into compliance. If they haven’t applied and paid their first premium by Feb 15, it’ll be darned hard for them to get insurance before the open enrollment period ends.

    The more time that goes by, the greater the peak load demands that will be placed on the web site.

  17. David M says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    If they haven’t applied and paid their first premium by Feb 15, it’ll be darned hard for them to get insurance before the open enrollment period ends.

    You’re correct that we’ll know a lot more once the end of November rolls around. If the exchange is working, then all will be more or less on track and this won’t matter. However, I’m fairly sure people now have the entire open enrollment period to apply and avoid the penalty. The dates now match up like they should and they have until March 31 to apply.

  18. Gavrilo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    That’s absolutely not true. The provision requiring coverage of people with pre-existing conditions does not kick in until 2014. You just pulled that talking point right out of your ass, didn’t you.

  19. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Why, Gavrillo…did I just catch you admiring my ass?
    The PPACA created a temporary measure…the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan…that allowed people with pre-existing conditions to purchase insurance to fill the gap until 2014…when the full law takes effect.
    Again…if you do not know what’s really going on…why do you have your panties in such a twist?
    Maybe if you went out and actually learned something…you might…you know….change your mind. (yeah…I know…snarky)

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/07/29/insurance-americans-with-pre-existing-conditions

  20. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:

    That’s absolutely not true.

    By-the-way….I’m waiting for you to admit you were wrong.

  21. Todd says:

    As we get closer to the deadlines, there will be “excited” news stories about how tremendously the pace of sign-ups has pickied up.

    This has nothing to do with the website. If the website was working perfectly, the numbers probably wouldn’t be much different .. but people would still be trying to figure out the “reason”.

    The reason is obvious … human nature.

    A very large percentage of people in general usually don’t do anything until they absolutly have to. And for Americans in particular, procrastination is practically a national pastime.

    If these sign-up numbers had come in surprisingly higher than expected, now that would be a much more curious story to investigate.

  22. An Interested Party says:

    So, the future of Obamacare is still very hazy but, with these enrollment figures, it’s not looking good at all.

    I’m sure the same thing was said about Social Security and Medicare and yet they’re still around decades after they were introduced…poor libertarians…they have to hope that government programs that they don’t like will fail because once they’re established, they can never stop them…

  23. JohnMcC says:

    @Dave Schuler: As mentioned above, I was on the website yesterday. There was a place to go to if you wanted to receive a paper sign-up. You specified ‘workable’ — and obviously I cannot vouch for that. But it is one of the options.

    But you knew that didn’t you Mr Schuler? Really, you did check on it before looking like a fool. Right?

  24. C. Clavin says:

    @An Interested Party:
    Or more likely…like Ayn Rand…they suddenly need the safety net that they despise so…and all their principled stands get tossed right out the window.

  25. Gavrilo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    PCIP ends on Dec. 31. These people should be flocking to the exchanges. You honestly think that people who went without insurance for so long because of pre-existing conditions, then finally got covered are now procrastinating? Enjoy your little delusion.

  26. David M says:

    @Gavrilo:

    There is no difference between signing up now and signing up a month from now, coverage will start on the same date. Seems odd to expect this enrollment pattern to be different than the one in Massachusetts.

  27. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:
    People like you make spineless pu$$ies look brave.
    You were wrong.
    You don’t have the cojones to admit it.
    Have a nice day coward.

  28. PD Shaw says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    Massachusetts had a very different, two-stage process. First, fill out a fifteen-page application by hand, attaching proof of income, citizenship status, and possibly HIV status. The application was hand-reviewed by the Department, and if approved, they would mail the information for actually applying for the insurance plans and subsidies the applicant qualified for. Then, the applicant could purchase the insurance.

    The Massachusetts program was slow because the process was slow. The exchanges are supposed to be fast and combine the two steps into one. It would make more sense to me for supporters to argue that these are entirely different, and people know or believe they can wait until the last minute to sign-up, which they really couldn’t do in Massachusetts (at least as to the first stage).

  29. KM says:

    @Gavrilo: Do I think people are procrastinating? Oh hell yes. There’s football and basketball on, Thanksgiving is in a few weeks, there was a kegger last night….. Honest to God, how many people shop on Xmas Eve? How many run in for last minute stuffing 4pm on Thanksgiving. Right now across this nation, students are putting off homework for Halo and workers surf the web rather than work. Procrastination is the American Way of Life.

    Judging less then 2 months later how well a new-to-this-country-concept program like ACA is less then fair. Now, enrollment ends and it still has crappy numbers, feel free to do the Dance of Joy and I Told You So. All you’re doing is setting yourselves up right now for stories about how “Americans must love ACA, look how many signed up in a month!!” when the inevitable upswing happens. Maybe it won’t be as big as predicted but it is coming – Conservatives should really be careful as it will bite them in the ass when the numbers jump.

    Myself? I look at it thus – 40,000 people are no longer screwed and now have a tool they didn’t before to help make their lives better. Victory, baby!!

  30. C. Clavin says:

    @PD Shaw:

    which they really couldn’t do in Massachusetts (at least as to the first stage).

    But did.
    At least if you believe in facts.

  31. Tyrell says:

    I know one person who enrolled the first week. It took him about four hours. A few days later he checked and the computer system had no record of him ever enrolling. He had an account # and everything.

  32. PD Shaw says:

    @C. Clavin:”But did. At least if you believe in facts.”

    Here is the Massachusetts application and instructions. Show me where I misstated anything.

  33. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:

    I know one person

    Congrats.

  34. C. Clavin says:

    @PD Shaw:
    You said people in MA couldn’t wait until the last minute.
    But they did.
    http://adenovir.tumblr.com/image/65989459460

  35. stonetools says:

    Conservatives sure have problems with numbers. The 40,000 figure is the estimate only of the number who signed up through Healthcare.gov. Actually, a lot of other people have signed up for heath insurance through Obamacare.

    1. More than 500,000 have signed up for insurance overall. Avalere Health, a consulting firm tracking sign-ups, estimates that at least 440,000 people have signed up for Medicaid and another 49,000 people enrolled in coverage in 12 states and the District of Columbia that are operating their own exchanges. Significantly, that state number don’t appear to include enrollment from California, Massachusetts, or Oregon. Thus, all told, more than 529,000 have enrolled in coverage.

    So over a half a million people have actually signed up for health insurance. Conservatives may want to discount the Medicaid enrollees, because after all they are poor and working class but they count as human beings just the same, who now have access to health care that they didn’t have prior to October 1. That’s half a million more than have signed up through the non-existent right wing plan. Doug may describe the ACA as “disastrous”, etc, but its better than “Nothing”, which is what he and the other right wingers have offered.

    You should read the entire Think Progress article, as well as Sarah Kiff’s article in the Washington Post, It’s not quite time to freak out over Obamacare’s enrollment number.
    Its the difference between intelligent analysis and right wing bloviating about the Obamacare website rollout.

    First, by many accounts the website fixes are reportedly not going well at all and the prospect of having to push the repair deadline past November 30th is very real.

    Are we talking about right wing hackery by Reason.org and the Cato Institute or talking about knowledgeable analysis by IT professionals? Because every IT person that I’ve talked to says that the website can be fixed.
    We can compare Doug and other right winger’s talk about Obamacare to the conservatives who were certain that Social Security could not work and Reagan’s laughable statements about how if Medicare was implemented, our grandchildren will ask us what it was like to grow up in a country when people were free.

  36. Gavrilo says:

    @KM:

    That’s nonsense. During the first week, before the Democrats realized how extensive the website problems were, they tried the spin that the heavy volume was the reason that so few people were able to sign up. They tried to claim that it was actually a good problem.

    Now, six weeks later the website is still a trainwreck and the low enrollement numbers (even through the state-run exchanges) are a result of procrastination? Come on.

    There are actually hard numbers that will determine whether this works or not. In order to be sustainable, 7 million uninsured people must enroll by March 1. Of these, a substantial number must be young and healthy otherwise costs skyrocket. The idea that this is successful because 40,000 people have enrolled is absurd.

  37. David M says:

    @Gavrilo:

    The idea that this is successful because 40,000 people have enrolled is absurd.

    And yet the idea that this isn’t successful because 40,000 people have enrolled is even more absurd.

  38. rudderpedals says:

    @Gavrilo: I’m on PCIP. I haven’t flocked anywhere yet. When should I get ruffled? I’m covered til 12/31

    The concern trolling is strong on PPACA

  39. KM says:

    You know, I was kidding about the kegger and then this popped up on my Yahoo page:

    http://news.yahoo.com/creepy-uncle-sam-university-of-miami-230827005.html

    So it turns out the Koch brothers actually hosted a party/kegger to keep people from enrolling in Obamacare. WTF?

  40. stonetools says:

    @C. Clavin:

    The facts are that the Massachusetts program had an even slower start but is now considered a success with 98 per cent coverage. But I am quite certain that six weeks after the Massachusetts program began , there were right wingers predicting “disaster,”, “death spiral”, etc. Conservatives suck at predicting things.

  41. PD Shaw says:

    @C. Clavin: “You said people in MA couldn’t wait until the last minute. But they did.”

    Of course, I didn’t say that, otherwise you would have quoted me.

    Massachusetts had a two-step process. You first had to go through a lengthy application process, the Department had to review your information, and issue an eligibility decision that was appealable. Once you had the decision, showing what policies and subsidies you were eligible for, then you could wait to enroll at the last minute. You couldn’t wait to start the first stage, because the process took so long and the wait was out of your hand. Once you had an eligibiltiy determination from the government, you could wait until the last minute.

    These are not comparables. It was theoretically possible for everyone to enroll in an ACA exchange on the first day, because its a one step process. It was never possible to enroll in Commonwealth Care on the first day.

  42. stonetools says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Now, six weeks later the website is still a trainwreck and the low enrollement numbers (even through the state-run exchanges) are a result of procrastination? Come on.

    I’d like a link to analysis establishing that the website is still a train wreck . Thanks in advance.

  43. Dave Schuler says:

    @PD Shaw:

    Thank you, PD. That was my understanding of the process. Very different from the PPACA’s.

  44. stonetools says:

    @rudderpedals:

    The concern trolling is strong on PPACA

    Indeed. I’m still waiting for the wonderful right wing alternative that will solve the problems of uninsured. They have had decades to work on it and have never presented it, but I’m sure its marvelous. So far what I’ve heard from Doug, Gavrilo, et al. is “nothing.”

  45. C. Clavin says:

    @PD Shaw:

    people know or believe they can wait until the last minute to sign-up, which they really couldn’t do in Massachusetts (at least as to the first stage).

    Clearly I mis-understood.

  46. KM says:

    @PD Shaw:

    It was theoretically possible for everyone to enroll in an ACA exchange on the first day, because its a one step process.

    It is theoretically possible to do a lot of things. Just because you can right now doesn’t mean you will. Tell me, do you do everything theoretical thing you can as soon as you can?

    Besides, it looks like people are out having a good time on the Kochs’ dime instead on enrolling. Maybe after the hangover? 🙂

  47. stonetools says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    I will accept that the Massachusetts process was different and slower. Yet they still got it done. That’s the bottom line. That’s actually good news for Obamacare.

  48. C. Clavin says:

    @KM:
    Yeah…it’s crazy…Republicans promoting personal irresponsibility.
    It cannot be said often enough…this is not the Republican Party of old…and there is absolutely nothing Conservative about it.

  49. rudderpedals says:

    @stonetools: Nothing is also what these concerned clowns appropriated for the last year of PCIP, handy insurance to prevent new enrollees from getting necessary medical care during the gap.

  50. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:
    Dude…I’m still waiting for you to admit you were wrong.
    Show some spine.
    I know Republicans are cowards…but try breaking the mold.

  51. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:

    The idea that this is successful because 40,000 people have enrolled is absurd.

    And by the way…you are wrong about that too.
    Hundreds of thousands pf people have signed up.
    Why are you so upset when you have absolutely no idea what is happening?
    I know change can be scary for people like you…but don’t worry…it will be OK.

  52. wr says:

    @Gavrilo: I had to change my (employee covered) health plan this year — the old one was being cancelled; the new one is almost identical, slightly better, and a little cheaper — with a close date of 11/28. The only reason I switched today instead of waiting until 11/27 is that I’m going to be out of the country for a couple of weeks and needed to care of of this first.

    Of course people put off signing up for health coverage. For most, there are a lot of choices to make and it’s scary to make that commitment. And absolutely no advantage in signing up today over next month.

  53. PD Shaw says:

    @C. Clavin: Thank you.

  54. David M says:

    I received a letter from my insurance company letting me know I would be automatically enrolled in a more expensive plan if I did nothing. I did let them know to end my coverage on 12/31/2013, but I won’t be signing up for the new coverage until the beginning of December. as there’s no advantage to signing up earlier than that.

  55. C. Clavin says:

    Hey…here’s a Koch Bros sponsored Tea Bagger calling for Revolution…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpMvCPKBfNY

  56. KM says:

    @Gavrilo:

    There are actually hard numbers that will determine whether this works or not. In order to be sustainable, 7 million uninsured people must enroll by March 1.

    Is it March 1st yet? Then they haven’t fallen short yet, have they?

  57. Argon says:

    I’m certain that a large number of people are going to be rudely surprised when they do their taxes for 2014 after thinking they didn’t have to sign up. I’ll bet 50 quatloos that Fox news will scream bloody murder about people getting hit with tax increases.

  58. stonetools says:

    @C. Clavin:

    What’s underreported is the campaign of massive resistance and sabotage against the ACA financed largely by right wing plutocrats. Politico did report on it, but the major elements of the so called “librul media” have not really pursued it.

    To the undisputed reasons for Obamacare’s rocky rollout — a balky website, muddied White House messaging and sudden sticker shock for individuals forced to buy more expensive health insurance — add a less acknowledged cause: calculated sabotage by Republicans at every step.

    That may sound like a left-wing conspiracy theory — and the Obama administration itself is so busy defending the indefensible early failings of its signature program that it has barely tried to make this case. But there is a strong factual basis for such a charge.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/the-obamacare-sabotage-campaign-99176.html#ixzz2kTTkn1fm

  59. superdestroyer says:

    I guess I need to remind everyone that ACA is designed to failed. It does not matter whether people succeed in enrolling or not. If people do not enroll in large number, the Democrats have one reason for switching to single payer. If people do enroll and most people will not be happy with their plans, the Democrats a different reason for single payer. If cost run out of control, the Democrat just have a different reason for single payer.

    No matter what happens with ACA in the future, the long term outcome is single payer, lower pay for healthcare workers, a slower rate of adopting new technology, and more power to the federal government.

  60. Davebo says:

    No matter what happens with ACA in the future, the long term outcome is single payer

    Hell I hope so. Heaven forbid we continue on the path to bankruptcy of small and large businesses due to the idiotic version of “health care” we’ve been supporting for decades.

    I realize you don’t get it. Let’s face it, you’ve never been the sharpest bowling ball on the rack, but more and more people are getting it.

    If you had ever had to deal with the concept of “burden cost” of actual employees even a dim bulb such as yourself would come to the conclusion that change was needed.

    Go back to whining about the brown people Sup. Your an idiot then but you’re even worse in this debate.

  61. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:

    In order to be sustainable, 7 million uninsured people must enroll by March 1.

    Anyone have a link for that?
    I know it was a goal.
    And I know the system before Obamacare was not sustainable.

  62. David M says:

    @C. Clavin:

    The 7 million exchange customers is an estimate I’ve seen elsewhere from reputable sources, but it’s not set in stone by any means. The March 1st date isn’t correct though, it’s probably supposed to be during the initial enrollment period, or by the end of 2014.

  63. C. Clavin says:

    @Davebo:
    Single Payer makes a ton of sense…and it works for most developed nations.
    And full disclaimer… I live :30 minutes from the Insurance Capital of the world.
    I think Obamacare can work…just as Romneycare is working… WELL.
    And the Conservative part of me thinks it’s smart…working within the existing system.
    I would rather Obamacare work…but Plan B will too.
    What all serious people agree on…the Pre-Obamacare System did not.

  64. anjin-san says:

    You honestly think that people who went without insurance for so long because of pre-existing conditions, then finally got covered are now procrastinating?

    Yes. People who have been disengaged from the system for a long time will take a while to re-engage. Is that so hard to figure out?

  65. superdestroyer says:

    @C. Clavin:

    The main reason that the Democrats did not push for single payer is that the Obama Administraiton did not want to be responsbile for so many people losing their jobs during the middle of a recession.

    What is interesting is how much the Democrats want to turn healthcare into a poor career field that will only attract desperate immigrants or those with no other career prospects.

    Democrats claim that eliminating private health insurance for all but the wealthy while nationalizing healthcare will be food for employers but how many employers will be left as the Democrats reduce employment in health care, defense, manufacturing, energy production, and transportation? Do Democrats will believe we can all be freelance writers or nightclub owners?

  66. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:
    You need professional help.
    I’m sure it’s covered under Obamacare.

  67. bill says:

    why sign up at all when you can wait til your sick and then do it? this system was designed to be gamed , maybe they’ll fix it after the website?

  68. C. Clavin says:

    @bill:
    Nice to see another Republican stressing personal irresponsibility.
    It’s tragic where fools like you have taken the GOP.
    Hopefully someday a real Conservative will take control of the party back from idiots like you.

  69. David M says:

    @bill:

    why sign up at all when you can wait til your sick and then do it?

    Apparently you’re unaware there is an open enrollment period each year. You cann’t just wait until you are sick and then sign up.

  70. Aidan says:

    The headline of this post is poorly chosen and misleading. Nobody enrolls in “Obamacare.” The 40,000 figure is the number of people who have enrolled in the federal exchange. The federal exchange is not “Obamacare.” It is only one part of the law known as “Obamacare.” Any analysis of how many people enrolled in new health care plans as a result of the Affordable Care Act should include people enrolling through state exchanges and the Medicaid expansion (and even people under 26 on their parents’ plans, if you want). This post would be accurate if you changed the headline to say “Federal Exchange,” and I know that Doug is smart enough to know the difference.

  71. bill says:

    @C. Clavin: really, if democrats were so “responsible” then maybe they wouldn’t get all bent out of shape if they couldn’t get free/subsidized healthcare, abortions, food, transportation, cell phones,etc….i could go on. then again, i don’t think anyone ever accused liberals of being all that responsible anyway. and i have health insurance for my children and myself already- spare me the inane rhetoric.
    back to the point, this “system” is a miscarriage and an embarrassment to anyone who’s part of it. yes, obamacare is a disaster- website included.

    @David M: the “pre-existing” clause renders all of that moot. see mass. for examples of how the system is gamed. google is just a touch away.