According to Obama administration, about 9.9 million people have signed up for health insurance. That's down from a reported 10.2 million sign-ups in March – but the administration is confident it will have the 9.1 million it wanted by the end of the year.
Hadley Heath Manning, director of health policy at the Independent Women's Forum, says the administration is being rather selective in what it reports about the impact of its health reform policies.
"It seems the administration has a singular focus on the number of people who have signed up," she notes, "and we've seen this since the first enrollment period. But unfortunately this is just one metric – and it's not the whole picture of what's happening under health reform."
Manning supports her argument. "For example, there are questions about whether or not people can afford this insurance," she tells OneNewsNow. "And it's not just the fact that 84 percent or so of people who have signed up require a subsidy to pay for their premium, but there are also questions about their out-of-pocket costs. On the other hand, are they satisfied with the kind of coverage that they have?"
Even so, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell says: "Consumers from coast to coast are continuing to show how important health coverage is to their families." In response, Manning points out the government requires virtually everyone to have some form of health insurance.
"And [while] it may be true for some … not everyone needs the kind of health coverage that they're required to purchase under the Affordable Care Act," says the IWF spokeswoman. "There's a laundry list of services from maternity care to pediatric dentistry to coverage for various rehabilitation programs."
The bottom line, says Manning, is that not everyone needs that kind of comprehensive coverage. "It would be better if we focused on allowing people to buy routine healthcare services directly from providers without the middle man of an insurance company. But the focus of this law, again, has been on insurance, insurance, insurance – when [the focus] should have been on healthcare."
The figures released this week cover the period through June 30.