A RAND study pours buckets of cold water on the Obama administration’s claims that it has nearly reached 7 million sign-ups for Obamacare. The whole point of Obamacare, supposedly, was to insure the uninsured and bend the cost curve down. Those who had insurance were supposed to be able to keep it. Families were supposed to start saving about $2500 a year. If you believed the Obama administration.
Reality, according to RAND‘s study, is that the Obama administration’s 7 million figure is deceptive. Supposing 7 million have actually signed up and paid their first premium — which is not a given, as the administration claims it does not know how many have paid — two-thirds of those who did sign up already had insurance before Obamacare.
One important finding of the McKinsey survey was that the proportion of those who had formally enrolled in coverage, by paying their first month’s premium, was considerably lower among the previously uninsured, relative to the previously insured. 86 percent of those who were previously insured who had “selected a marketplace plan” on the exchanges had paid, whereas only 53 percent of the previously uninsured had.
If you apply that math to the RAND figures, you get this: of the people who have paid their first month’s premium on the Obamacare exchanges, and are thereby enrolled in coverage, 76 percent were previously insured, and 24 percent were previously uninsured.
Two caveats. First, we know little about RAND’s survey methodology at this time; we’ll have to see the actual study to see the details of what they did. Second, we don’t know how many previously uninsured people signed up for off-exchange coverage, above and beyond the normal rate of churn that this market would traditionally see.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that nearly all Obamacare sign-ups would be from the uninsured, not the insured. So the numbers coming in show, at a minimum, that Obamacare is not working as it was sold.
It probably is working as its architects intended, though, which was to destroy the private health insurance market over time and toss everyone into some form of single payer — socialist, government run — health care system.