Signups for ObamaCare have exceed six million, according to White House going into the final few days before the not-so-firm deadline of March 31 when the first open enrollment period ends.
The President broke the news while on his trip to Italy on a pep-talk call with thousands of activists and supporters to rally the troops during a last-minute push. He urged that we “leave no stone unturned” in trying to get as many Americans as possible signed up for what we all know is a bad deal.
Although this means the Administration has hit its revised target, it is still almost a million people short of the Congressional Budget Office’s original target of seven million signups.
The news comes just after the Administration unilaterally decided to extend the deadline until mid-April for those who claim they had problems signing up and weren’t able to complete the application process. So we can expect the final numbers to continue to rise as the Administration gave itself extra time to allow in new signups. If only they took accuracy and enforcement seriously perhaps they wouldn’t just rely on the honor system for signups.
With outreach by both officials and their allies in high gear, the White House can expect the tally to keep climbing — especially as it announced this week that it would allow extra time and assistance for anyone who self-reported hitting a snag as they tried to sign up by Monday.
Numerous polls have found the four year old law, which was passed without Republican support, is both misunderstood and unpopular. Democrats facing tough re-election fights next November have distanced themselves.
But the White House Thursday was looking at the bright side. Obama noted that there were more than 1.5 million visits to HealthCare.gov on Wednesday, and more than 430,000 phone calls to help centers. States running their own exchanges are also reporting that enrollment is accelerating, with some surpassing their targets. More than a million people have signed up in California alone.
But what is the actual number? Six million represents the number of people who selected a plan, but as we’ve reported, at least a million signups had yet to actually pay the first month’s premiums, which is the insurance industries definition of enrollment. Non-payment usually accounts for about 20 percent of signups. Remember what happens when you neglect to pay your home or car insurance premiums? You don’t remain covered for very long.
The Administration claimed to be clueless about how many people have actually paid, which is a convenient excuse to use while they continue to report what appear to be inflated numbers.
And as with the previous update, we have no demographic data on just who has enrolled. Specifically, the Administration is still tight-lipped on how many young Americans have enrolled. The ObamaCare insurance system relies on young, healthy Americans to subsidize the costs of older, sicker people. That enrollment mix needs to be about 39 percent young, but so far it’s been stuck at only 25 percent. That’s because young people aren’t convinced by the coherent, insulating, and frankly desperate outreach efforts by the Administration. This will undoubtedly lead to a rise in premiums and costs in the short run as HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted recently and an unsustainable system in the long-run.