WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Surge of Obamacare enrollments: Solid launch for the future, or Pyrrhic victory?

See this POLITICO piece about the jubilation in "Obamaworld" over those last-minute sign-ups for insurance under the President's health-care overhaul...


Indeed, supporters of the Affordable Care Act can breathe a sigh of relief that the ACA essentially resurrected from its very troubled rollout.

Nationally, President Obama announced 7.1 million Americans signing up. Here in Delaware, the tentative figure was more than nine thousand; final figures to be announced next week.

But the imponderables remain: We still don't know the demographic make-up of the enrollees; we don't know how many were previously uninsured; we don't know how many have paid their premiums; and we don't know how many compared insurance policies on-line, but did not complete the sign-up process by the deadline.

Of course, some Republicans accuse the administration of "cooking" the final numbers (Not unlike accusations about the administration tweaking the unemployment numbers just before the election).

Indeed, the politics of Obamacare appear not to have changed very much. Opponents of the Affordable Care Act - those who regard the ACA as anathema, indeed, a threat to our very way of life - are likely to turn out in greater numbers for the Congressional mid-term elections, and indeed, transform the Senate from D to R. An enthusiasm gap appears to be the Dems' continuing nightmare.

Posted at 7:55am on April 2, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Apr 2, 2014 8:31am
Allan: I agree with your post. Many people on both sides of the aisle, as well as independents like me, are angry over being lied to about our health-care, the prices, higher deductibles, FREE birth control, and abortions that we pay for, while meds we need are certainly NOT free, etc., etc. Obama played fast and loose with the ACA and now has many people ticked off.

The other thing that may also give the G.O.P./TEA folks even more incentive to vote in 2014 in the Congressional elections is Obamacare is only the first step; it seems Obama hopes for problems with the ACA so that they can make the case down the road to ditch the insurance-based plan for Single Payer, which has been the DEM dream since the days of Harry Truman. So this Congressional election might be the last chance to stop this entire national health-care train before it gets totally entrenched.

For someone like me, though, I don't have a problem with the idea of Single Payer, but after seeing how misled we've all been on Obamacare, I am not totally sure about how it would actually work in the end.

On the other side of the ledger, I don't want any TEA party folks messing with my Social Security benefits [we've discussed this previously]; so probably even though I may disagree with the DEMS on other issues, I'll probably end up voting for the DEM Congressional candidates from Delaware in 2014, UNLESS the G.O.P. candidates in Delaware [if there are any] would state very clearly and often that they'd vote against any plan to alter Social Security for those of us who've paid into the plan as EarlGrey and I previously discussed].

So yes, IF the Republicans don't do foolish things this year, this could be a good year for the Republicans in their hopes to gain control of both houses of Congress.

Wed, Apr 2, 2014 9:02am
"But the imponderables remain: We still don't know the demographic make-up of the enrollees; we don't know how many were previously uninsured; we don't know how many have paid their premiums; and we don't know how many compared insurance policies on-line, but did not complete the sign-up process by the deadline."~Allan Loudell

Even if 7.1 million did sign up (which I sincerely doubt), the real issues are in the above quote from Mr. Loudell.

The biggest issue is who signed up...if very few healthy youths signed up, but a large number of unhealthy people did, then the system simply won't work.

I agree with the Republicans that the books have been cooked...this administration counted people with their "product" still in the "cart" as covered. It sure doesn't work like that on Amazon's website...if it did, I would have purchased quite a few things that I decided against buying after further thought and price comparisons.

”There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again.”~G.W.Bush

Wed, Apr 2, 2014 9:46am
Can someone tell me who 0bamaCare is really helping? It was supposed to cover those formerly uninsured yet it seems quite a few million are still uninsured (many paying the Liberty Tax to avoid ACA) and millions more were kicked out of the plans they actually liked and also (to add salt to the wounds) lost their doctors after the promise they could keep them PERIOD.

Other than Democrats on-line and on T.V. evangelizing the greatness of ACA...I have not heard any good experiences with the unAffordable Care Act...even in Detroit (where 0bama is still loved) people in government housing, receiving government checks and using EBT cards are complaining about the rapidly rising health care costs due to 0bamaCare. I know actual people who are suffering and do not believe the propaganda of this administration.

Democrats, Republicans, Independents and Libertarians have all been hurt by the ACA... vote out every representative who forced the ACA upon this nation in 2014. Elections are the only way to make those pompous politicians listen to "we the commoners".

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Apr 2, 2014 10:35am
Here is a different topic. Apparently many animals, Bison specifically, seem to be fleeing Yellowstone; some believe it may be a warning of an upcoming eruption from the very large Yellowstone volcano. Has U.S. map showing where previous ash from that volcano went. Interesting article. Enjoy.


Wed, Apr 2, 2014 11:53am
Yep, I read/heard about Yellowstone's impending super-volcano...sounds like yet another "birth pang" of the earth.

Earthquakes around the world, volcanoes and wars/rumors of wars...sounds rather biblical yes?

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Apr 2, 2014 3:15pm
If that volcano ever erupted as it did in history, that would change the U.S. dramatically, not to mention climate and weather. I agree, it does have a "Biblical sound" to it.

Wed, Apr 2, 2014 4:26pm
I'm glad the topic turned away from Obamacare, a completely made up Tea Party tragedy that never existed, to something that is a genuine concern. The disappearance of the Great Plains.

Wed, Apr 2, 2014 4:48pm
But back to Obamacare... The 7.1+ signups mean little. Both sides can spin is as they will, What it important however is the fact; that as the deadline neared, people thought it better to sign up than do without. That means the product is good, at least from the perspective of the buyers...

There is one more telling point. With computers, numbers are not just pulled out of ones head. The numbers behind health care showed there was a demand of 7 million who would probably sign up for healthcare... All those of that demand pool, did as they expected and signed up. They are only 7 million out of 315 million Americans.... A small 2.2%...

But 315 million Americans depending on whoever insures them, now have a low lifetime cap and no one will ever lose their home again, simply because they got sick...

But the bottom line, is that all those predicted to sign up for Obamacare, despite all the negative ads and propaganda put up by those with money, did... It is here to stay, and like Social Security and Medicare, will never be repealed as along as the US remains a democracy.

Speaking of that, the wire services just said that the Supreme Court voted on eliminating all limits to campaign funding... Too bad Tigani got jailed for something that apparently... wasn't against the law...

A good lawyer would have delayed his case for years... and prevented the jail sentencing from ever occurring....

Wed, Apr 2, 2014 5:45pm
Let me explain why those people pointed out by Mike, who lost their coverage, are not a big player in this game... Here is a list of who wins with Obamacare....

315 million _ Americans who get free preventive with no co-pay. It's all covered by insurance, whether flu shots, HIV screenings, prostate exams, colonoscopies, mammograms, and FDA-approved contraception.

315 million _ benefit from new requirements that insurance companies must spend at least 80% of our premium dollars on our health-care .. not profits or marketing.

315 million _ benefit from the new requirement that insurance companies publicly justify their actions if they want to raise premiums by 10% or more...

315 million _ benefit from knowing that our insurance can now never be capped or canceled at the whim of insurance companies.

105 million _ no longer have lifetime expense caps, either through chronic disease, or corporate restrictions.

50 to 129 million_ benefit from the Obamacare provision that eliminates all bars for coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

49.4 million _ current Medicare enrollees, who under Obamacare, can feel secure knowing that existing Medicare benefits can neither be reduced nor taken away.

6.1 million _ Americans with Medicare Part D who will no longer have to go through the "donut hole" coverage gap.

5.8 million _ adults would be included in this count IF 25 mostly Republican-led states weren't refusing Medicaid expansion

4.4 million _ low-income adults will now have access to health insurance thanks to states implementing the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare....

3.2 million _ small businesses estimated to be eligible for tax credits for providing health insurance to their 19.3 million employees nationwide

3.1 million _ young adults who can get coverage because of the provision in Obamacare that allows them to stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26....

So what you ask then about those mentioned by Mike, the 4.7 million who were dropped from their loan shark scale private plans?

2.35 million or so can take advantage of the Obama administration's decision to grandfather those plans through 2014.

Another 1.4 million qualify for Medicaid expansion or subsidies in the Obamacare exchanges.

All 4.7 million are eligible for the hardship exemption and are exempt from being penalized by the law.

When Republicans rolled out horror stories of people losing their insurance under Obamacare, all the stories were debunked in some way... They were headlines repeated ad nauseum without any story there.... The truth is that many of the canceled plans were no longer legal under Obamacare because a). they neither covered the basic things insurance should cover or, worse, b). were dangerously designed to explode the minute the insured got sick: what Consumer Reports has called "junk insurance." Arguing that people should be able to keep these plans is like arguing that people should still be allowed to drive defective Chevy Cobalts or cars without seat belts. LIKE IT OR NOT, the government's job is to help keep us safe, and insurance companies that were peddling shoddy products were doing the opposite.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Apr 2, 2014 6:13pm
Kavips: Interesting info. Where did you get those numbers? Do you have a link for that? Other than the free abortions, I must admit it sounds like Obamacare could very well help a lot of folks. That's not a bad thing.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Apr 2, 2014 8:09pm
Now the plot thickens.....Apparently Hobby Lobby has investments in some of the pill manufacturers that make abortion pills. Kind of seems like a double standard or just a tad bit hypocritical.


Wed, Apr 2, 2014 8:13pm
The Obama administration is grasping at straws. I'm pretty sure the number of people who lost their insurance as a result of this scam is greater than the new sign-ups. Another overlooked question: How many of the 7.1 million are people who lost their previous insurance and were forced into this so-called "marketplace"?

Wed, Apr 2, 2014 8:34pm
I just remembered something else too. I suspect the termination of the relationship between United Healthcare and A.I. Dupont is also related to the Obama health-care insurance fraud scam.

Wed, Apr 2, 2014 11:36pm
It's also interesting that the administration/Sebelius couldn't give even an estimate on the number that had signed up before the deadline and then miraculously they came up with the interesting number of 7.1 million people (nice rounding for effect)...only fools still believe the propaganda told by this group.

But again, the real information that needs to be given is the demographics of who signed up and how many of them were previously without insurance...do you happen do have this information handy, kavips?

Wed, Apr 2, 2014 11:47pm
Mike: If you have a 401K do you know everything about every investment within the mutual funds in the plan? If you dig deep enough (in an active witch hunt against an individual or organization) you can find at least one company in a fund that supports something "evil" if you search hard enough. I'm sure that Hobby Lobby had no idea about that pharmaceutical company and in good faith offered that mutual fund as part of their retirement plan. It's not like Hobby Lobby was found to be secretly funding NARAL or Planned Parenthood...but I'm sure they will now begin researching each and every aspect of their 401K plan's investments.

Thu, Apr 3, 2014 6:48am
Hey, I thought the reason Obama pushed this scam was that there are 30-million uninsured out there. So tell me, who are these 30-million and where are they? Why haven't they lined up at their local welfare office to sign up? My guess is that they don't exist just like the mythical 2% of the wealthy that we allegedly don't extort enough taxes from.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Apr 3, 2014 7:50am
EarlGrey: I agree and YES, Hobby Lobby probably will claim exactly that, that they didn't know their portfolios were invested in making abortion meds.

So the bigger question will be what are they going to do about it, now that they know about it?

It's a difficult thing, I remembering a fundamentalist Christian friend telling me that we shouldn't stay at any Marriot hotels, because they're owned by the Mormon Church. I asked the question then, he/she know what investments their 401k had, could Marriot be a part of it? They hadn't considered that [my guess is they probably tried to find out, as it seemed to be a really big issue for them]. Conservatives take note: The Washington Times is owned by the Reverend Moon [the Moonies], definitely NOT a Christian group, so will all the TEA/G.O.P. Christians stop reading that paper or going to its website?

With multiple layers of corporate ownership, it becomes difficult to know who owns what. Let's see... a few years ago, NBC once was owned by RCA, then later was owned by GE, but now is owned by Xfinity/Comcast.

So yes, it is very possible they didn't know, but now that they DO know, what will they do about it? To do nothing would be hypocritical, since they are the ones taking this to the Supreme Court.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Apr 3, 2014 8:00am
Mrpizza: The mythical wealthiest 2%??? Golly gee wiz, hasn't one of that group been in the news lately - Robert Richards IV who was given "special treatment" rather than going to jail for raping his own kid is living in two mansions - one in Greeneville and one at North Shores in Rehoboth.

The mythical 30-million who didn't have health insurance??? Go visit a food closet or a homeless shelter or talk to folks who work several part-time jobs to make ends meet [none of them had insurance]??

Come on man, you really need to get out more and stop listening to Rush/Hannity/Beck/Jensen/Fox "News", if you believe those are mythical numbers. You lose all credibility when you say stuff like that.

Thu, Apr 3, 2014 9:14am
Mike: My question about Hobby Lobby's 401K is much like your friends and the Marriott...how deep should Hobby Lobby (and the rest of us) dig to find the full extent of all our investments? I'm sure that if one digs far enough every plan has at least one company (probably multiple) that is involved in activities we do not personally endorse.

Also, if I correctly understand what mrpizza is saying, the entire reason for trashing our old health care system in favor of 0bamaCare was to cover the previously uninsured 30 million people...problem is even more are now uninsured than before and our system is completely screwed up.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Apr 3, 2014 10:23am
EarlGrey: In terms of Hobby Lobby, they've made a major deal out of paying for those Abortion meds in their health plan, but if they don't change their investment portfolios now that they know that they are making money from same companies, it gives the appearance of religious convictions when they have to pay vs over looking those same religious conviction when they make money with it.

That's the issue. They chose to make this "a Federal Case", literally. So now the world is looking at them, and any appearance of wrong doing makes them look hypocritical. If this had been some liberal group instead of Hobby Lobby we'd all be appling the same standard to them, so we must be consistent and apply it to someone we're backing.

My employer's health plan give FREE abortions to our employees/spouses/daughters [that are covered on our plan]. I don't agree with it, but I have NO say. Hobby Lobby by law [as it currently stands depending on what the Supremes decide] also doesn't have a choice, but they are fighting to make a case that it is wrong, for which I applaud them for doing, BUT their house needs to be in order or they look very two faced. Right now, they look two faced, but can explain reasonably they didn't know, but now they do know will shed those companies from their investments. Doesn't seem complicated to me.

In terms of the so called "mythical numbers" from Mrpizza's post.

I understand that when the final numbers come out, its possible that more folks now are without health insurance than prior to Obamacare [don't really believe it will end up that way], but Mrpizza is calling those 30 million previously uninsured mythical and the wealthiest 2% mythical and that is complete "bull", so I called him on it.

It's that kind of "silly" statement that cheapens and undercuts any real point he's trying to make. Has that "smoke and mirrors" thing going for it.

Thu, Apr 3, 2014 6:25pm
MFD: Actually I do volunteer two days a week at Sunday Breakfast Mission and I think Robert Richards IV should get the electric chair.

Thu, Apr 3, 2014 6:33pm
Oh by the way Mike, I heard Jensen do a whole hour on RR IV the other day and he basically said the same thing you would say about the justice system favoring the rich, and I would agree with you about it. So at least in my mind, it blows the myth that Jensen is a one-sided hack.

Thu, Apr 3, 2014 7:33pm
Mike, I don't mean to pile on you but I must address the issue of Reagan and Lafayette Park. Actually, I think I agree with Reagan that those people wanted to live there. The truth is that while there are parachurch organizations which have programs to help the homeless get their lives cleaned up and get back into normal society, there are many who don't want the accountability involved with that. For some, it's easier to live on the street than to accept responsibility for their lives. No, they're not all that way. I see a lot of hope at Sunday Breakfast, but only about 20% of the homeless are actively seeking change at any given time. That doesn't mean that more don't eventually come around, but as with anything else, you have to become sick and tired of your situation before you're willing to do anything about it. That's true of all of us.

The one trait about Reagan that I like best is that he always believed that the American people, not Washington DC, were best able to solve America's problems. In the case of the homeless, organizations such as Sunday Breakfast and Goodwill and Salvation Army know best how to deal with the less fortunate among us.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Apr 3, 2014 8:47pm
Mr pizza: Reagan's comment came after he had cut the funding for those mental health issues causing literally thousands and thousands to be let loose from mental institutions for which he received much criticism. A lot of those folks weren't able to take care of themselves. Prior to Reagan's terms as Prez, homelessness was uncommon in the US. So in the case of those folks in Lafayette Park, sadly many didn't know enough to come in out of the cold.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Apr 3, 2014 8:51pm
As far as Jensen is concerned, the RR IV story isn't partisan as all media coverage from MSNBC to Fox all have condemned Richards getting probation. So it's not surprising the Rick agrees with the majority of people on this.

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