Obamacare struggles for enrollment
Published: Monday, December 2, 2013
Updated: Monday, December 2, 2013 17:12
It has been two agonizing months for the Obama Administration since the healthcare marketplace opened. What was supposed to be Obama’s greatest political achievement has had a very rocky start.
Website troubles have been blamed for less than adequate sign-up numbers. Students are to blame for a majority of the Affordable Health fail.
The Obamacare insurance exchange was designed to be a top heavy solution to rising insurance costs.
In order to reduce healthcare costs for the unhealthiest Americans, many healthy Americans have to sign up through the exchanges to lower those premiums. Young people are vital to the Affordable Care Act’s success.
Historically, young healthy adults have paid the least for health insurance because they are by and large healthier than older adults.
Under the new healthcare exchange, however, healthy people and unhealthy people are required to purchase insurance from the same pool. This increases the cost of healthcare for the average American.
Arkansas is one of Obamacare’s most troubling states in which to operate. Forbes reports that while premiums increase on average 41% across the United States, Arkansas premiums increase a staggering 138%.
To help combat the negative opinions about Obamacare, the federal government spent $24 million on a marketing campaign in Arkansas alone.
This marketing was a remarkable failure. While no figures have been released for November, the federal government released that only 70,595 individuals signed up for Obamacare in Arkansas.
This number may look impressive at first, however most of those who enrolled were on Medicare and were required to sign up in order to continue to receive free health insurance due to their low income.
In fact, it is reported that only around 250 enrolled in the government’s “private” exchange. This is less than 0.4% of those who enrolled.
The Obama Administration failed to realize the fine leveed on those who did not sign up for insurance is not enough to encourage enrollment.
For an Arkansas State student with a part time job, the fine for being without insurance is a mere $95. This is compared to the insurance cost of around $2580 ($250/month).
Young adults have another incentive to forgo health insurance. Previously, health insurance premiums would increase sharply for those with preexisting conditions. This would encourage young people to get insurance to lock in low premiums “just-in-case.”
Now that insurance companies are forced to cover those with preexisting conditions, it is much cheaper to forgo insurance until a medical catastrophe happens.
The Affordable Care Act has successfully removed any incentive for a healthy person to purchase to purchase the insurance while raising healthcare costs for all.
In a recent interview, former President Bill Clinton said that if Obamacare was to be successful, young people would have to show up to the healthcare exchange.
Despite the millions of dollars spent promulgating Obamacare, very few middle and upper-class Americans showed up to the exchange. For a socialized system of healthcare to be successful, the entire country has be on board with the plan.
Unfortunately for the Obama Administration, the United States is not at a point where it is willing to accept such a system. Unless Obama can get Americans to agree soon, this could be his greatest political failure.