Obama Hype Not Passing Reality Test

Member Group : Jerry Shenk

Gloating over his administration’s self-generated "statistics" claiming 8
million enrollments in Obamacare exchange plans, President Barack Obama,
reinforced by subservient media shills, has been taking rhetorical victory
laps and taunting "humiliated" Obamacare critics.

He says Obamacare has exceeded enrollment targets; that premiums are lower,
insurers are pleased, the law is "working" and that Obamacare cannot be

Based on inaccuracies and exaggerations, Obama’s enjoyment will be
relatively short-lived. Reality bites, and it will bite hard on Obamacare
and, in November’s election, on the party and politicians responsible for
the debacle.

Not everybody who enrolled has paid for their plans. Last year the
Congressional Budget Office projected 7 million Obamacare enrollments by the
deadline. A new McKinsey and Co. report
estimates that 17 percent
of the "8 million enrollees" haven’t paid – and, therefore, aren’t enrolled
– a number ensuring that paid enrollments do not even meet the CBO’s 7
million forecast.

So much for exceeding expectations.

Furthermore, McKinsey revealed that all but about 22 percent of exchange
enrollees had been previously insured, many of whom were content with their
former, lost coverage.

In other words, for all the false hype about 8 million enrollees,
Obamacare’s expansion of coverage for the 30 million to 46 million uninsured
(pick a number) has been unimpressive, too, since most previously uninsured
Americans remain uninsured.

To defend its claim of lower premiums, the administration again cites CBO
numbers but willfully misrepresents them by comparing the CBO’s 2014
estimated rates to those quoted on the exchange, rather than comparing
exchange rates to actual rates paid by those insured in 2013. The deception
is unsurprising since there’s overwhelming evidence that premiums have
increased since 2013, substantially for many, while out-of-pocket costs for
medical treatment have soared and trusted patient/physician relationships
were severed.

Obama has made only one accurate claim: Insurers, now government-regulated
utilities, are happy. And why not?

In 2009, expecting millions of new publicly funded enrollees, medical
insurers flacked for Obamacare. Initially, exchange insurers will enjoy
private profits while their losses are socialized on the backs of American
taxpayers. Under Obamacare’s reinsurance scheme, in 2014, federal subsidies
to exchange insurers will likely reach $10 billion. And, since Obamacare’s
"risk corridors" will protect them from exchange-related losses, insurers’
subsidies are expected to go even higher.

But, insurers will face their day of reckoning. In 2017, reinsurance and
risk corridors expire, and the exchanges must sink or swim on their own.

The smart money bets on "sink."

As for repeal, claims that Obamacare is politically invulnerable are
particularly amusing since the president has already, illegally and
unilaterally, delayed and repealed major provisions he found practically or
politically unworkable. The parts of Obamacare allegedly "working" are
extremely narrow segments of the law Democrats passed.

Despite Obama’s glowing reports and apparent glee, public support for
Obamacare remains far below its level of opposition.

Because it creates classes of winners and, mostly, losers, Obamacare’s
survival remains very much in doubt. As time passes, Obamacare’s flaws will
create even more losers and increase public sentiment for repeal and