The Affordable Care Act is becoming more and more of a misnomer each day, and its broad appeal is running far less than the White House hoped for. Monumental sign-up delays and website glitches and outages have turned into Congressional hearings. Now we have some new figures showing just how far behind the goals that Obamacare has laid out.
Kathleen Sebelius has now shown that only 106,185 people have successfully enrolled and picked private health plans in the first month. Supposedly some 975,000 or so have supposedly started the process but have not yet picked a plan. Keep in mind that there are three key statics that stand out here:
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- the goal is to have 7 million successfully enrolled by the end of March 2014;
- there were reportedly 248 successful enrollments in the first two days;
- now there are 106,00 or so at a normalized run rate by the end of March of about 637,000.
The good news is that if you like your current health insurance plan you can keep it. Wait, that might not exactly be true even if you were told that over and over.
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The current healthcare initiative is a touchy one for many people. The mandatory plan designs were simply too rich if you just want to do financial math.
Insurance providers now have no way of shielding unlimited expenses and they have no way of hedging against catastrophic payment claims for those are already ill or have pre-existing conditions. The only way to hedge this is theoretically by having millions and millions of more insurance customers.
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There is one simple question to ask here with very complex ramifications and hopefully it does not come across too insulting. Should a healthy 28-year old male who is in perfect shape, does not smoke, has a clean diet, and who weighs 175 pounds pay the same monthly insurance rate as a 38-year old male who does not exercise, smokes, has diabetes, and weighs 375 pounds?
Here is another question to think about. How much is being spent on all of the endless advertisements for the new healthcare exchanges?
Anyhow, this is a subject that has no immediate resolution. It will also be a political axe that is swung back and forth perhaps for years or decades into the future.
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- Kathleen Sebelius