I don’t normally go to Karl Rove unless it’s with despair, regret, anger, or sometimes gentle mocking. But when somebody’s right, they’re right. Read:
The Affordable Care Act would right a great social wrong. Or so we were told. But reality is again intruding on the Obama administration’s narrative.
This newspaper reported Saturday that between 65% and 80% of those who have signed up for health insurance through the federal or state ObamaCare exchanges previously had coverage, according to insurers. A survey by McKinsey & Co. suggested that only 11% of those who purchased plans through the exchanges were previously uninsured.
Surprised? We shouldn’t be. This was forecast in a February 2011 study underwritten by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Researchers at the VA, Boston University’s School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School’s Mongan Institute for Health Policy focused on “crowd-out” effects in which employees and their families are moved “from private to public insurance without reducing the number of uninsured very much.” The study concluded that, over the long run, theAffordable Care Act “will shift increasing numbers of workers from employer-sponsored insurance to public insurance and federally-subsidized insurance purchased through exchanges.”
Crowding-out seems to have started earlier than anticipated. This is probably because the study (a) did not consider ObamaCare’s impact in causing the cancellation of many policies in the individual and small-group markets, or (b) its incentives for companies to drop employer-provided coverage, especially businesses with fewer than 50 workers. Whatever the explanation, most people getting private insurance under ObamaCare already had it, probably with lower premiums and deductibles.
It took a politician of incredible skills to sell a law so baldy mangled.
Or maybe just large and regrettable majorities in Congress.