Last week, I explained that the federal government was working overtime to hide the ineffectiveness of the Obamacare insurance exchanges. But the truth is getting out.
Lately, some have taken to calling the program “glitchcare,” in light of its myriad technological problems. The situation is so bad that even the most damning reports haven’t captured the severity of the health exchange problems.
And now that reporting has begun, we see that Americans aren’t embracing Obamacare as the president envisioned. It’s hard to argue with the facts, and the exchange websites simply aren’t converting visitors into enrollments. Just look at Maryland, where the exchange site has seen 170,000 unique visitors…and recorded only 326 enrollments.
Yet that’s not even the worst of it. You see, there’s a dire situation that the administration is dutifully ignoring: The possibility that thousands of Americans think they’ve signed up for insurance through the online exchange…but in fact haven’t because the botched system failed to collect enough information to underwrite the policy.
CNBC has reported that, “As few as 1 in 100 applications on the federal exchange contain enough information to enroll the applicant in a plan.” That’s just 1%!
This is a disaster in the making for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). There’s a chance that all healthcare applicants will have to be contacted to manually verify their information…and HHS doesn’t have the manpower, expertise, or infrastructure for such a process.
Low and failed enrollments are bad news because Obamacare relies on lots of healthy people signing up in order to be financially solvent.
Traditionally, insurance rates have been defined by risk factors. Fire insurance is higher at industrial plants that run large furnaces and foundries. Life insurance is more expensive for applicants with high blood pressure and a history of heart disease. Auto insurance is more costly for drivers with many speeding tickets.
Obamacare, on the other hand, does away with the process of rating based on risk factors. In the past, a 60-year-old might have been charged in excess of five times the premium paid by a 21-year-old. Now, the difference in premium is reduced to a factor of three; and to make up the difference, the 21-year-old will pay much more.
Couple this with the changes in the coverage – Obamacare mandates abortion coverage and mental health coverage, among others – and most end-users are seeing huge bill increases. The only potential winners are the seriously ill. And it’s no secret that offering sick people insurance without asking them to pay high premiums is an expensive proposition.
In fact, the whole scheme depends on the young and healthy paying higher premiums. Problem is, the young and the healthy are currently not enrolling at the exchanges. If few people are signing up, and fewer still are actually given insurance, Obamacare will collapse like a house of cards.
Of course, these are all problems the critics of Obamacare predicted. But in his arrogance, Barack Obama won’t even negotiate changes to try and right the sinking ship. Instead, he and his allies are in denial.
Fortunately for Obama, Congress’ budget fight has kept journalists from fully reporting on the healthcare train wreck. But soon, it will be front-page news. The administration will no longer be able to hide the failed enrollment numbers, and reality will force Obama to seek even more money to fund the Obamacare rescue operation. I guess they’ll just hike taxes on the entire country to make up for their failure.
This article originally appeared at CapitolHillDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission.