Obamacare topped six million signups this week, which was touted by the Obama administration and its supporters. And, of course, the media were there to give more cover to this new entitlement program that's been plagued by technical glitches, health care cancellation notice, and premium hikes. CNN's Wolf Blitzer called the recent Obamacare development a "moral victory":
" -- his administration is getting closer to its goal of enrolling 7 million people for health insurance through the Affordable Health Care Act. In a phone call with volunteers today, the president has said, enrollment is now past 6 million, something of a moral victory in light of the ObamaCare website's massive problems when it first went online last October. Monday, by the way, is the deadline to enroll for this year."
How is it a "moral victory?" The Heritage Foundation posted these three questions about the six million who signed up for Obamacare yesterday:
1. Have they paid premiums?
Far more important than the number of people who have picked a plan is the number of people who have paid their premiums. Without paying the premium, they have not effectively gained insurance coverage. It is likely that there will be a significant portion who do not pay their premiums in time to gain coverage, meaning actual enrollment numbers will turn out to be lower.
2. How old are they?
The last detailed report released showed that the demographics weren't adding up the way the Obama administration wanted. It had pegged the goal for the proportion of young adults (18-34) at 40 percent of total enrollees, and the latest report showed them accounting for only 27 percent.
3. What's their health status?
This question is closely related to the age question. The reason young people are needed is because they are generally healthier than older people. They pay into the system with premiums but have relatively low medical claims, helping to balance out costs for insurers. Are the exchange enrollees the type of patients usually found in a high-risk pool, or are healthy people attracted to Obamacare, too?
But, an estimated 6-7 million people will no longer have their employer-provided health care plans due to Obamacare. So, in at least one sense, it's still just a wash.