Obamacare’s next threat: Inertia among the uninsured
By Dan Mangan | 10 Dec 2013
There’s knowing what you have to do and then there’s actually doing it. And the results of a new survey suggest the health-care reform law may be falling short on both accounts among the uninsured—the group Obamacare is designed to help the most.
In reality Obama-Care was never about getting the uninsured insured. If it was, there were a thousand better ways to do it. Such as expanding the options for bare bones plans. But Obama-Care does the opposite. It outlaws the kind of plans that the uninsured would have liked.
The findings of the survey by the Transamerica Center for Health Studies suggest that Obamacare’s goal of providing affordable health insurance to millions of Americans faces widespread inertia.
Although more of the survey’s respondents knew about components of the law compared with a prior survey over the summer, not many of those polled are enrolling for coverage via the Obamacare exchanges even if they know that the law mandates nearly all people must have insurance by 2014.
In other words, it has nothing to do with not knowing enough about Obama-Care. The uninsured simply don’t want to bother with insurance. And never mind that we just turned our entire healthcare system upside down to try to get these people to buy insurance. (Not that we believe that was the real reason for Obama-Care.)
So it looks like Obama is going to have to increase the penalties for not having health insurance. Maybe he should start throwing people into jail. Or droning them.
"More Americans are informed and prepared for the March 31, 2014, mandatory health coverage date, but a significant number have yet to actually sign up for health insurance in the exchanges or the traditional insurance market," said Hector De La Torre, executive director of the center, whose online poll of 1,000 adults under the age of 64 was conducted last month by Harris Interactive.
"The uninsured continue to be the least active, which could be because they feel the least prepared and also are the least satisfied with the health-care system," said De La Torre, whose center is a division of the Transamerica Institute, a nonprofit foundation focused on research and education about health and retirement issues facing the public. "With the deadline to purchase coverage approaching, the great unknown is what the uninsured will do."
The questions surrounding what uninsured people will do are crucial because that is the group the new, government-run Obamacare exchanges were specifically designed to target. And those exchanges are the only place that tax subsidies are available to offset the cost of coverage for people whose incomes qualify them…
And Obama and the Democrats were counting on getting all of these people dependent on the government.
A mere 10 percent of the uninsured plan to buy health coverage through one of the exchanges, the survey found…
A detail that CNBC buries in its ninth paragraph.
Just 6 percent of the general population said they plan to buy health insurance through the Obamacare exchange, but only 2 percent had actually enrolled.
And even that pathetic number is a lie, since at least one third of the people who think they have enrolled have not been enrolled because their (subsidized) payment has not been processed by the Obama-Care website.
That relatively low level of sign-ups among survey respondents mirrors what the Obamacare exchanges have seen to date since their Oct. 1 launch. So far, more than 330,000 are believed to be enrolled nationally on the exchanges, but that is well below the 1.2 million people federal officials originally projected would be enrolled by the end of November…
That’s okay. They will be able to sign up the rest of the 7 million people they need before December 23rd. It’ll be a cinch.