Total number of enrollees yesterday in Louisiana’s new health-insurance exchange: Zero?

posted at 6:01 pm on October 2, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via the Corner. Actually, the total number is just an estimate. Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s biggest insurance provider and one of four companies participating in the exchange, got a big fat zero via Healthcare.gov yesterday. Chances are, if they had no enrollees, neither did their competitors. But who knows? Maybe two or three people managed to complete the sign-up process with a different provider before their computers exploded.

Sixty million dollars.

Since the marketplaces opened to much fanfare Tuesday (Oct. 1), many of the state’s potential customers have been stalled on the website, unable to move past the portion of HealthCare.gov that instructs them how to set up their profile.

“It’s a situation that we are coping with,” said John Maginnis, vice president of corporate communications for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, one of four companies offering products through the marketplace.

The company spent three years and $60 million preparing for Tuesday’s opening, so the lack of momentum seemed a bit of a letdown. Sales agents were getting plenty of calls from people seeking information, Maginnis said, but the agency is not able to sell a policy to anyone without a functioning HealthCare.gov website.

“It was not as intense as we had anticipated,” he said.

Maginnis isn’t sweating it, though, because he expects the spike in enrollees will come not at the beginning but at the end of the enrollment process in December. I think he’s right. Right now the White House is in carrot mode, trying to sell “young invincibles” on the glories of health insurance. But the carrot doesn’t work on everyone: According to Gallup, more than 30 percent of the uninsured were unaware this past week until they were polled that they’re now required by law to buy insurance. As we get closer to December and the need grows more urgent for a big pool of new revenue to cover those with preexisting conditions, the White House is bound to shift from carrot to stick. I’m curious to see how they play that. They’ll hammer the fact that it’s ILLEGAL not to have insurance if you can afford it and that the TAXMAN will make you pay a FINE if you don’t, but they might not emphasize too much that the fine (for this year at least) is the higher of just 95 bucks or one percent of your income. If a thousand Obama speeches on how awesome ObamaCare is can’t create a groundswell of enrollment, maybe strategically vague warnings implying that the IRS might kick down the door will do it.

Anyway, big question: If Louisiana ended up with a donut on enrollment due to grotesque federal incompetence in preparing the exchange websites, how many enrollees did the federal government see across all 34 states where the exchanges are being run out of Washington? Answer: They’re … not going to tell you just yet.

During a conference call with reporters on Tuesday afternoon, officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) refused to disclose the number of people who bought insurance through the online marketplaces that are a centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “We have just decided not to release that yet,” said Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

They did, conveniently, release their traffic stats for the Healthcare.gov website, which tells you a lot about how much public curiosity there was in seeing ObamaCare in action and next to nothing about how many visitors were willing and able to sign up for plans. In fact, per Philip Klein, there’s some reason to believe that New York’s administrators inflated the amount of web traffic to their exchange site, whether to explain why their site was glitchy all day or simply for PR purposes. Exit question: What’s the over/under on how many enrollees there were yesterday nationwide?

Update: HHS now says it’ll be a solid month before they reveal how many people signed up yesterday. I’m tempted to call that preposterous and an obvious dodge to buy time, but these are the same people who couldn’t build a functional website with three years’ notice.


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Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin – Americans are hungry for Obamacare…
They’re laughable in their delusions…
Athos on October 2, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Well, he is close.
In the very near future, they will be hungry FROM 0bamacare.

LegendHasIt on October 2, 2013 at 9:20 PM

perhaps they will have a new program to cover that pesky deductible…you’ve heard of cash for clunkers…the new one will be clunkers for deductibles…

going2mars on October 2, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Bayam, why no answer and I know you’re reading this, what happens? Hello?

Bishop on October 2, 2013 at 9:30 PM

per Philip Klein, there’s some reason to believe that New York’s administrators inflated the amount of web traffic to their exchange site

Say it ain’t so.

California’s health insurance exchange vastly overstated the number of online hits it received Tuesday during the rollout of Obamacare.

State officials said the Covered California website got 645,000 hits during the first day of enrollment, far fewer than the 5 million it reported yesterday.

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-california-health-exchange-glitches-20131001,0,7108713.story

lynncgb on October 2, 2013 at 9:40 PM

If you’re that stupid, then maybe you deserve whatever happens to you.

Resist We Much on October 2, 2013 at 9:01 PM

errrr..

BigWyo on October 2, 2013 at 9:44 PM

And ‘hits’ doesn’t mean a dang thing.

The only things that count are the number of people who actually signed up for a legitimate account, and ultimately how many actually pay for a policy.

Heck, I probably gave the national site and a few state sites a hundred hits, just looking around out of curiosity, and I one of the “I will not comply” guys.

LegendHasIt on October 2, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Not the experience of most developed countries, including France and Germany. You’re projecting your fears of change into a worst case scenario while failing to recognize the financial ruin that will result form trying to extend the current healthcare incentive and costs structures to the fast growing elderly population.

bayam on October 2, 2013 at 8:42 PM

France’s system has been in the red every single year since the 80′s as you know well and Germany’s is paid for with 16.5% payroll taxes.

No thank you to both.

Chuck Schick on October 2, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Heh, what a disaster. Government can’t even build an enterprise web app, yet liberals will persist in thinking it could competently administer the entire health care system in a single-payer model.

Lawdawg86 on October 2, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Exactly… healthcare administered by the same government that can’t get bottled water and baloney sandwiches to fuggin’ New Jersey in three weeks…

PointnClick on October 2, 2013 at 10:30 PM

projecting your fears of change into a worst case scenario while failing to recognize the financial ruin that will result form trying to extend the current healthcare incentive and costs structures to the fast growing elderly population.

bayam on October 2, 2013 at 8:42 PM

France’s system has been in the red every single year since the 80′s as you know well and Germany’s is paid for with 16.5% payroll taxes.

No thank you to both.

Chuck Schick on October 2, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Don’t confuse Pauline Krugman with facts-she is not programmed to respond in that area!

Del Dolemonte on October 2, 2013 at 10:36 PM

I’m confused, they didn’t manage to get anyone signed up and the rush won’t happen until December? So the problems aren’t just from heavy traffic?

Cindy Munford on October 2, 2013 at 11:13 PM

What’s the over/under on how many enrollees there were yesterday nationwide?

One thousand.

Theophile on October 3, 2013 at 2:05 AM

Daughter went online to buy insurance in Illinois and was told, because of her income, she would only be able to get Medicaid. They wouldn’t allow her to buy insurance. She’s furious. She does not want crappy government care or charity.

Fallon on October 2, 2013 at 7:03 PM

I am right there with her. I either deliberately distort my expenses, thereby upping my income and hence my 15 percent or so self employment tax (comes before even computing the income tax) or I keep the status quo and go on Medicaid. I will not qualify for a subsidy unless I start paying 15% plus additional income tax by deliberately misstating my allowable expenses. And, even if I am permitted to buy health insurance not healthcare, mind you my premiums would be more than double because of O-care. Nice work government pinpricks.

totherightofthem on October 3, 2013 at 7:44 AM

Just another of many reasons to delay for a year, or better yet, full repeal is what is needed. Obvious that Americans do not want or need Obamacare. Voter’s revenge will have their day in the mid-terms to send many who voted for the mess, home.

Amazingoly on October 3, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Not the experience of most developed countries, including France and Germany. You’re projecting your fears of change into a worst case scenario while failing to recognize the financial ruin that will result form trying to extend the current healthcare incentive and costs structures to the fast growing elderly population.

bayam on October 2, 2013 at 8:42 PM

You know what? I’ve about had it with the willful ignorance you constantly display. This whole fiasco has nothing whatsoever to do with the costs of healthcare. It’s about health insurance. Period. It’s very simple economics: When third party payers are the means by which one obtains a good or service, the price of that good or service becomes irrelevant to the seeker. Who cares how much your x-rays cost if you don’t have to write the check yourself? When employers started offering health insurance to employees in the face of wage controls (thanks FDR) it set in motion the ever-rising cost of actual health care. It also helps (/s) that this country subsidizes the rest of the world by paying more for medical equipment (other countries cap the amounts that manufacturers can charge) and medication (again, there are caps on charges in other countries). Not only has this government screwed with the free market, the rest of the world governments(especially those with “government paid for health care, ha ha) have joined in those games.

As costs went up, for whatever reason, insurers just upped the premiums to cover their losses and sustain a profit. The actual users of the healthcare didn’t give a rat’s ass how much the service cost, because they weren’t paying for it. Not a damn thing in this act will change that scenario. Unless people don’t comply and pay for medical care out of pocket. They might just shop around and force some competition.

totherightofthem on October 3, 2013 at 8:07 AM

My premiums DOUBLE next year from $7200 to $14500 per year!
Damn you fascists!
I was surprised they hadn’t changed yet since I keep up with the real news. We just got the letter telling us how much the Democrats screwed my family over.
I can not tell you how much i hate democrats and the people who vote for them.

GardenGnome on October 3, 2013 at 12:30 PM

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