The positive spin: ObamaCare enrollment now up to 365,000 people.
The negative spin: That’s out of 7,000,000 needed by the end of march.
The really negative spin:
The topline figures exclude 834 problems, incorrect Medicaid enrollments, various glitches, ppl who haven't paid. …
— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) December 11, 2013
“There is also a lot of worrying going on over people making payments,” industry consultant Robert Laszewski wrote in an email. “One client reports only 15% have paid so far. It is still too early to know for sure what this means but we should expect some enrollment slippage come the payment due date.”
Another consultant Kip Piper, agreed. “So far I’m hearing from health plans that around 5% and 10% of consumers who have made it through the data transfer gauntlet have paid first month’s premium and therefore truly enrolled,” he wrote me…
Blue Shield of California said it has sent out thousands of payment request letters…
There’s going to be chaos come spring. A month ago I might have tempered that claim with “there might be chaos,” but there’s no longer any room left for doubt. The insurers simply must get millions into the risk pool, but my back-of-the-envelope math suggests that with less than three weeks before the new policies start to kick in, maybe 73,000 enrollees are actually paid up.
To get to that number, I took the 365,000 at face value and then multiplied by the generous figure of 20%, just in case Robert Laszewski is too pessimistic. The actual figure could be half of that — or even half of the half, if we take the worst-case numbers.
But nobody knows. The White House isn’t talking, Kathleen Sebelius is leading a mock-charge into her own office, and the press seems intent on keeping its collective head up its collective bottom until the next October 1-type crisis rolls around.
Which it will, like clockwork, on April 1. That is, if it doesn’t happen on January 1.
The chaos is coming. Anyone can see it who chooses to look — where is the leadership from the Administration, and where — dear lord where — is our Forth Estate?