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.
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.
“…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)[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1LFYNf1ROA[/youtube]