Obamacare enters the death spiral

By 105 Comments 2,350 views

aircraft spin

The NY Post tells us that the news for Obamacare is not good:

The good news, if you want to call it that, is that roughly 1.6 million Americans have enrolled in ObamaCare so far.

The not-so-good news is that 1.46 million of them actually signed up for Medicaid. If that trend continues, it could bankrupt both federal and state governments.

Medicaid is already America’s third-largest government program, trailing only Social Security and Medicare, as a proportion of the federal budget. Almost 8 cents out of every dollar that the federal government spends goes to Medicaid. That’s more than $265 billion per year.

Indeed, already Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid account for 48% of federal spending. Within the next few years, those three programs will eat up more than half of federal expenditures.

And it’s going to get worse.

According the ACA Sign-up site, the numbers are a little different. They list about 400,000 private enrollees against 1.6 million Medicaid enrollees. That’s a 1:4 ratio, but it doesn’t break down by age so we don’t know how many of the Millennials are enrolled.

The stated goal of the administration was to have 7 million signed up by the end of March.

Not gonna happen.

But that’s fine, blubbers Ezra Klein. No problemo.

The 7 million number isn’t a goal so much as it’s an estimate. It comes from the Congressional Budget Office’s May 2013 projection of how many people would sign up for insurance under Obamacare. But that projection didn’t foresee two months of a non-functional federal health exchange. Or, to put it simply, that estimate is already wrong. It should be thrown out entirely.

OK, let’s throw that out. You see, the important thing is the ratio.

Back in July, when Sarah Kliff and I asked the White House how they defined “success” in 2014, they always defined it as a function of the mix of people in the exchanges — the “ratio” — rather than the number of people in the exchanges. On this, the administration was clear: More wasn’t necessarily better. Twenty million enrollees would be a disaster if only 1 million of them were young and healthy.

It all came down to the ratio. If 7 million people signed up for the exchanges — as CBO predicted — the Obama administration believed success meant ensuring about 2.7 million of them were young and healthy. If they got 10 million people to sign up, about 3.9 million had to be young and healthy. If they got 4 million to sign up, success would mean making sure 1.5 million were young and healthy.

The reason the ratio matters so much was that it is crucial to keeping premiums low.

They need about one third of the enrollees to be young and healthy.

Washington, we have a problem.

Only about 29% of young people plan on signing up. In CT the population is skewed to the older:

The people who have enrolled so far skew to the older end of the spectrum: 40 percent are between the ages of 55 and 64; 22 percent are between 45 and 54; 11 percent are between 35 and 44; 11 percent are between 26 and 34; 8 percent are between 18 and 25; 7 percent are younger than 18.

Never fear, Ezekiel is here.

The administration’s Dr. Deathpanel has a solution for this obstacle- brainwashing, and if that fails, ostracization and ridicule!

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, the good Doctor prescribes three ways in which this could be accomplished:

1. President Obama and his appointees need to give speeches to young people about signing up for Obamacare. (“Every commencement address by an administration official should encourage young graduates to get health insurance.”) Because if there’s one thing young people respond well to, it’s lectures from older people.

2. We need to attack, ostracize, and humiliate the “free riders” who don’t buy insurance until they are sick. (“Second, we need to make clear as a society that buying insurance is part of individual responsibility.”)

3. We need to spend more public money on advertising the Obamacare exchanges on television and at sporting events so that young people are made aware of “affordable policies available.” Any $695 policies on offer?

The administration has been pitching health care to the young with different angles, among them the embarrassing “Bros and Hos”.

Obama has said that young people will melt when they come to understand how great Obamacare is:

President Obama on Thursday urged young people to sign up for Obamacare, telling them they would realize the benefits are “priceless.”

In an interview on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” the president said he understood why young people have been hesitant to enroll in the new law’s insurance exchanges after the botched rollout. But he insisted that once young people become aware of the benefits from the health law, they will sign up.

“For young people to recognize that it is in their financial interest and their health interest to be able to get on-going preventive care, to be able to get free contraception and, you know, benefits like mammograms that allow them to maintain their health throughout their lives, without fear of going bankrupt or making their family bankrupt if they get sick, that’s something that’s priceless,” Obama said.

Young people 18-34 aren’t buying it. They’re not particularly interested in paying $3000 per year for a free $100 mammogram, especially since

“…studies to date have not shown a benefit from regular screening mammography in women under age 40 or from baseline screening mammograms (mammograms used for comparison) taken before age 40.”

They’re probably even less motivated to pay $3000 a year to provide Sandra Flucke free contraceptives so she can frolic in Spain with her wealthy boyfriend.

If young people opt out…..(sound of airplane in death spin)

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.

105 Responses to “Obamacare enters the death spiral”

  1. 101



  2. 102


    @Greg: 66

    I suggest that republicans assemble a collection of typical examples of people who have been seriously damaged by provisions of the Affordable Care Act, along with all of the pertinent details, available for independent verification, and present them for public examination.

    Reminds of the ‘show and tell’ by Obama when he had that panoply of people standing behind him, claiming they all had success stories to tell, just ask them about their stories. When asked for information on how to contact those people, his reply was that their names would not be released. So his little dog and pony show fell flat on it ‘s face and he was again revealed to be a complete liar about every aspect of Obamacare.

  3. 103


    @Redteam, #102:

    Millions of such cases, we’re told. Yet republicans aren’t presenting verifiable case histories, are they? Only anecdotal accounts, which are never presented in depth. Because their unverifiable generalizations are part of a propaganda campaign, not something that actually exists in reality.

  4. 104

    Bill Burris

    @Greg: There is no problem in being cautious, doubtful or suspicious, Greg. But tell us, who has been caught lying, repeatedly and who is it, really, that should be doubted?

  5. 105



    Millions of such cases, we’re told. Yet republicans aren’t presenting verifiable case histories, are they?

    A little double standard. He trots them out, points to them, says ask them about their success. Then when he is asked how to contact those in the dog and pony show, he says ‘no deal’ can’t tell you who they are, even tho I just said ‘ask them’, I’m not telling you who they are and how you can ask them. What an inspiration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *