August 18, 2022

Obamacare numbers spark more questions than answers

A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the website in New York in this October 2, 2013 photo illustration. The federal government's portal logged over 2.8 million visitors by afternoon October 2, largely in an attempt to sign up for Obamacare. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH SOCIETY POLITICS)

The Web site. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

If a Republican president crowed about the success of a program with as few numbers and as little information as the Obama team is with regard to Obamacare the press would have a field day. They’d be asking all sorts of questions like:

How many enrollees are newly insured?

How many are new Medicaid patients?

What is the mix of old and young people who have signed up?

What will this do to premium costs for next year?

Will the insurance companies require money through “risk corridors” to offset unexpected losses?

What is the per-person cost of Obamacare?

How many people got dropped, and how many of those found new coverage?

Is the average person paying less for Obamacare, as its authors claimed?

How many people have been forced to change doctors?

How many people have lost Medicare Advantage because of Obamacare-caused cuts?

The administration promised it would reduce the number of uninsured. Is the number of uninsured people still more than 30 million?

In short, Obamacare promised so much — cheaper care for so many millions, affordable care  for everyone, keep your plan and your doctor — but gave much less (how much less will be known when these questions are answered) at huge cost and inconvenience. Now it is more important than ever for Republicans to show they can do a lot better at a fraction of the cost and without the upheaval.