Obamacare: Converting Individual Responsibility to Dependency

This is a topic I have hit on for a while, but now we have even more startling data.  Apparently, most of the people buying from the exchanges already had insurance:

Early signals suggest the majority of the 2.2 million people who sought to enroll in private insurance through new marketplaces through Dec. 28 were previously covered elsewhere, raising questions about how swiftly this part of the health overhaul will be able to make a significant dent in the number of uninsured.

Insurers, brokers and consultants estimate at least two-thirds of those consumers previously bought their own coverage or were enrolled in employer-backed plans.

The data, based on surveys of enrollees, are preliminary. But insurers say the tally of newly insured consumers is falling short of their expectations, a worrying trend for an industry looking to the law to expand the ranks of its customers.

… Only 11% of consumers who bought new coverage under the law were previously uninsured, according to a McKinsey & Co. survey of consumers thought to be eligible for the health-law marketplaces.

So, we know that 80% of the people are getting subsidized on the exchanges, and now we know that 70-90% of those previously had a unsubsidized policy beforehand.   This means that what the exchanges are doing is NOT insuring the uninsured, but converting people previously responsible for their own health care into government dependents.  The more cynical out there will argue that was the whole point in the first place.


  1. HenryBowman419:

    The more cynical out there will argue that was the whole point in the first place.

    I suspect it would be more accurate to say "The more realistic out there will argue that was the whole point in the first place."

  2. jdgalt:

    The real point is to destroy the private insurance industry (mostly through the preexisting-condition rule, which forces adverse selection to take place) so that a future Congress will be able to force through single-payer.

    If the plot succeeds, we may as well rename ourselves the People's Republic of America.

  3. Another_Brian:

    But while they previously bought their own coverage, they were probably all of those "under-insured" that didn't want to pay for pediatric dental care, acupuncture, maternity care, and other bells and whistles that they were unlikely to use. And so by the comments made from the government spokespeople, they didn't really have insurance even though the were paying for it.

  4. MingoV:

    Except most of the ObamaCare qualified plans don't offer any of those coverages except maternity care.

  5. Canvasback:

    I was just thinking about this this morning. This world runs on incentives. If there's an incentive for filling out forms and pleading poverty - you'll get a lot of it. It's sure easier than the alternative.

  6. fidobite:

    Yep, 'Bamas administration is just like a drug dealer...get people hooked on a handout (drug) and you can count on their votes. It plays on one of the worst tendencies of humans: being lazy. Once they're addicted to the entitlement it's nearly impossible to take it away. Look at what's happened in Europe!

  7. Griffin3:

    And include a deductible that was nearly as high as the previous insurance payment ... or is the deductible also reduced by the subsidy?

  8. Scott:

    Back when the law was passed and we kept hearing about the 40-50 million uninsured, IIRC, about half of them were considered the "temporarily uninsured." These were basically people who had employer-based insurance, lost their job and therefore were uninsured while unemployed, but within a couple months got new jobs with new insurance.

    If only 11% of the new Obamacare enrollees lacked insurance before, how many of that 11% were "temporarily uninsured" and would have had private insurance again within a couple months in the absence of Obamacare?

  9. Anthony J. Alfidi:

    The reimbursement mechanisms for ACA plan reimbursements are sufficiently convoluted as to be unworkable in the event of hyperinflation: http://alfidicapitalblog.blogspot.com/2013/10/magical-thinking-for-affordable-care.html