We’re nearly one week into Obamacare’s open enrollment period. What we do know: It’s been a bumpy ride. What we don’t know: How many people have signed up.
The White House will not be releasing data on enrollment in the federal marketplace until November, CNN’s Jake Tapper reports. We do have some data trickling out from the states right now though — but even with those initial numbers, deciding who counts as an Obamacare enrollee can be tricky business.
That’s because there are a number of steps in the application process for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And states are using lots of different metrics to determine how well their new insurance marketplaces are going.
When the District of Columbia’s Health Benefit Link crunches the numbers on who has done what on their Web site, they put people into four different categories depending on how far they’ve gotten in the process. First are people who have created an account online and are browsing the Web site. Aaron Strauss, who has taken on the task of counting up these registrations, estimates that 175,000 people have created accounts on the state-based marketplaces over the past week.
Second are the people who have filled out the application for insurance but haven’t actually committed to the policy. This is like when you’re shopping on Amazon, have dropped an item in your shopping cart but haven’t clicked to checkout yet. You’re almost there but not totally done.
Then there are the people who have selected a plan and moved on to checkout – but haven’t enrolled quite yet, instead requesting an invoice. Who wants to pay a premium in October, after all, for a policy that doesn’t start until January? On the D.C. Health Link’s first day, 175 people requested invoices whereas four people actually went ahead and paid the premium.
Across the country, states are muddling together their own definitions of what counts as enrollment. In Kentucky, where 11,879 people are enrolled in coverage, all of them have paid the first month’s premium for their policy. In Rhode Island, an enrolled individual is “an individual who has supplied all of the necessary information, had that information verified, and has selected a plan. Payment was either made or is pending,” per spokeswoman Dara Chadwick.
Maryland is tracking two separate metrics: Enrollment in plans and applications submitted with a verified identity. Both have increased, as you can see in Maryland’s graphs below, although applications still remain higher than enrollment.
CONCLUSION (my humble opinion):
Wha wha WHAT? Only hundreds of people signed up for the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare? Isn’t this healthcare act the LAW OF THE LAND and held up as constitutional by the Supreme Court? Then pray tell, why is our government “inviting” people to sign up. Do we ask or invite people to SIGN UP for income tax deductions? Heck no, we REQUIRE all U.S. citizens to file income tax returns and pay income taxes backed by the real threats of horrific high penalties, confiscation of assets and even jail sentences (aka Wesley Snipes) backed up by the power of the U.S. military if necessary. So what is different with this ACA law which I do not like and am against but realize that it is the law and must either be changed or repealed if it does not fit the people it is designed to serve. Therefore, President Obama needs to MAN UP and like the INCOME TAX OBLIGATION, mail forms to every American citizen qualified for the ACA and force them under the pain of stiff fines or jail sentences to comply with the ACA (Obamacare). President Obama and the Democrats in Congress flatly refuse to discuss or make any changes in this law and expect to go full force in converting the entire U.S. medical industry into this government sponsored plan. If this law is MANDATORY then the Obama Administration must ENFORCE THIS LAW BY WHATEVER FORCE HE DEEMS NECESSARY TO GET THE JOB DONE. If an all out civil war and anarchy breaks out because of this, then SO BE IT, this is what the Democrats are asking for. When the smoke clears we shall see who is still on top of the U.S. leadership.