Video: Big rush on ObamaCare, but how many will be insured?

posted at 8:31 am on December 26, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

As anyone could have predicted, the deadline for ObamaCare enrollment has prompted a surge in traffic to Healthcare.gov and state exchange websites. Mandate compliance will tend to focus attention, especially when the IRS could end up breathing down your neck for non-compliance. CBS News reports that record numbers of people signed up for insurance on the exchanges over the past week, but no one’s really sure if they actually will have insurance after January 1:

CBS calls these “enrollments,” but that’s actually the question. As CBS notes, insurers aren’t sure that the sign-ups will equate to actual enrollments for a number of reasons. Two of those reasons don’t get a mention in the report. First, the federal exchange and perhaps some of the state exchanges still have issues with their 834s, the electronic report that transmits enrollment data to insurers. The failure rate, by the administration’s own admission, is at least 10%. If the insurers don’t get the proper data, then they can’t enroll the customers. Second, the back-end subsidy payment system isn’t even in place, although the Obama administration’s workaround will be to have the insurers bill CMS for subsidy payments and to issue them without confirmation for a while. If enrollment data gets confused, customers might find their insurance cancelled even if they have been making their partial payments — unless insurers really want to go out on a limb and into the red on provider payments with short revenue.

Another curiosity is the level of sign-ups that CBS and ObamaCare exchanges offer as success. California signed up 100,000 people in a week? It’s a state of over 30 million people. The total only came to 400,000 before the deadline, or about 1.3% of the population, and that number included Medicaid enrollments:

California’s health insurance exchange said more than 400,000 people have signed up for health plans ahead of Monday’s enrollment deadline as part of the Affordable Care Act.

The Covered California exchange said the latest figures are based on preliminary data through Sunday, when about 27,000 people picked an insurance company. Enrollment Friday was even higher, at 29,000 people, according to the exchange.

“We very much expect today will be a big day,” Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said Monday. “We are seeing huge interest online.”

The state’s latest official figures were 156,000 enrolled in health plans through Dec. 7, and an additional 179,000 people who had qualified for an expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program.

State officials declined to give an updated enrollment figure for Medi-Cal.

And according to the Sacramento Bee yesterday, many of those people who did sign up for private insurance can’t verify enrollment — even those who signed up right away rather than wait for the last minute:

Margaret Rhode didn’t procrastinate.

As soon as enrollment for health insurance plans began in October, she was on the Covered California website, seeking coverage for her 52-year-old son. Applying online, however, turned out to be more complicated than she had anticipated.

“I tried to apply online and it wouldn’t let me,” Rhode said, “I was able to connect over the phone and they told me the site was down, try again later.”

Rhode, a Rancho Cordova resident, finally gave up on the website and submitted a paper application in mid-November for a Blue Shield policy for her son.

Since then, silence.

Rhode will get confirmation by mail, if she gets it at all, because she submitted her son’s enrollment on paper.  Those with website sign-ups will only get a bill, if the insurers get their information and enroll them properly. They won’t find out whether that happened until the bill comes … or they try to use their insurance and find out they don’t have it.


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whenever someone asks where I went to school, I try to reply nonchalantly as possible, “Harvard”, but you can almost always tell by their eye reaction the mental adjustment they have to make factoring that I went to Harvard…it’s priceless

noforeskin on December 26, 2013 at 9:47 AM

…they are trying to figure out if THE BOOK has been printed…“HARVARD-for DUMMIES!”

KOOLAID2 on December 26, 2013 at 12:44 PM

…they are trying to figure out if THE BOOK has been printed…“HARVARD-for DUMMIES!”

KOOLAID2 on December 26, 2013 at 12:44 PM

or they realized it did and they missed out.

dmacleo on December 26, 2013 at 12:58 PM

From an IT perspective, the worst possible thing to do with a system that isn’t ready is to roll it out anyway. It takes far more work to fix the output of a broken system than to just do without the system until it is ready.

I don’t think Obamacare could be ready to go for at least another six months, more likely a full year. That probably means we’ll be cleaning up the damage for 4-6 years to come.

And when I say, “cleaning up the damage,” I’m actually referring to JUST the damage from the broken website and backend, not all the other nasty effects from Obamacare.

There Goes the Neighborhood on December 26, 2013 at 1:37 PM

For all the RINOs

2014 is the year
To grow a pair

Schadenfreude on December 26, 2013 at 1:37 PM

There is a point where quoting a few words out of context becomes outright lying.

thuja on December 26, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Where’s your sense of humor?

It was meant as a jokel I’m sure Obama would tell the truth if it was to his advantage, it’s just that situation is fairly rare.

talkingpoints on December 26, 2013 at 10:12 AM

That was at least an intentional joke. But it’s nowhere near as funny as this unintentional humor:

whenever someone asks where I went to school, I try to reply nonchalantly as possible, “Harvard”, but you can almost always tell by their eye reaction the mental adjustment they have to make factoring that I went to Harvard…it’s priceless

nonpartisan on December 26, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Yeah, eye-rolling is a classic sign of envy.

Let me suggest a more likely scenario:

– nonpartisan makes a really lame and nonsensical comment (I’m on safe ground assuming this, since there’s plenty of evidence in the past)

– person speaking to nonpartisan asks, “Where did you go to school?”

– nonpartisan says, nonchalantly, “Harvard”

– eyeroll

Doesn’t sound much like envy.

Truly one of the most unintentionally funny statements I’ve heard in a while.

There Goes the Neighborhood on December 26, 2013 at 1:50 PM

filthy, greasy, lazy, shiftless…really? REALLY? that’s the words you want to use to describe our black president? oh, of course you don’t have a racist bone in your body *rolls eyes*
nonpartisan on December 26, 2013 at 9:29 AM

No. Those are words I want to use to describe our filthy, greasy, lazy, shiftless lying chief executive of the US Government. Primarily because he is a filthy, greasy, lazy shiftless liar.

I suppose he is also black… kind of…

JohnGalt23 on December 26, 2013 at 2:29 PM

your moniker is such a joke! your post is as far from rational thought as can be
nonpartisan on December 26, 2013 at 8:52 AM>

Neither rational nor reasoned thought seems to be your forte. Let’s dig deeper

why in hell is your son still in college fulltime at 27?
nonpartisan on December 26, 2013 at 9:13 AM

And why in hell are you posting such tripe when you are a Havad Law grad? This is either your ignorance popping through or your downright nastiness.

well, if you want me to subsidize your son’s health insurance, it is sorta my business
nonpartisan on December 26, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Again, ignorance or nastiness–take your choice

why are you so obsessed with my Harvard pedigree?
nonpartisan on December 26, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Most on this board are in awe that someone who graduated from Havad Law could be so ignorant. Nasty yes, but ignorant, no. There is an old saying: “there is no one so ignorant as he who will not learn.”

filthy, greasy, lazy, shiftless…really? REALLY? that’s the words you want to use to describe our black president? oh, of course you don’t have a racist bone in your body *rolls eyes*
nonpartisan on December 26, 2013 at 9:29 AM

I’m surprised you cannot recognize mocking when you see it. Of course the Boy King is not filthy, he showers daily I’m sure. Same for being greasy. Lazy by his own admission and shiftless for not ever having accomplished anything worthwhile prior to entering politics (and that is a kind statement)

However, he is filthy, greasy, lazy, shiftless–and a liar. What would you call it when someone knowingly speaks an untruth? Oh, I forgot, you went to Havad. He is not mocked because he is half black. He is mocked because of his poorly reasoned and destructive policies.

you can almost always tell by their eye reaction the mental adjustment they have to make factoring that I went to Harvard…it’s priceless
nonpartisan on December 26, 2013 at 9:47 AM

It’s evident that the one who paid a price for going to Havad is you. You were not taught rational logic, nor debate. The most valuable lesson one can learn in college is rational thought, but that lesson seems to be in short supply in today’s colleges.

I don’t celebrate christmas, it is a religious holiday.
nonpartisan on December 25, 2013 at 8:38 AM

This is from Ed’s Christmas thread. I replied to it there. Suffice it say that a statement like this can only come from someone who is truly ignorant, poorly educated, bitter, and without a soul. You should read my comment in that thread and perhaps rethink your statement–it reflects very poorly on you.

NOMOBO on December 26, 2013 at 3:49 PM

I don’t celebrate christmas, it is a religious holiday.
nonpartisan on December 25, 2013 at 8:38 AM

This is from Ed’s Christmas thread. I replied to it there. Suffice it say that a statement like this can only come from someone who is truly ignorant, poorly educated, bitter, and without a soul. You should read my comment in that thread and perhaps rethink your statement–it reflects very poorly on you.

NOMOBO on December 26, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Note that yesterday pajama boy threw out that stinker and split. That is its favorite tactic.

Today he decided to stink around awhile like Mr. Hankey.

arnold ziffel on December 26, 2013 at 5:47 PM

nonpartisan on December 26, 2013 at 9:58 AM

If this laughingstock has a ‘Harvard Pedigree’, I’m an astronaut that has walked on Mars.

Corporal Tunnel on December 26, 2013 at 6:29 PM

HURRY EVERYONE SHOW YOUR LIBTARD SPIRIT … FLUNK NOW!!!!!!

kregg on December 26, 2013 at 9:20 PM

…glad I checked back…good comments from everybody else!

KOOLAID2 on December 26, 2013 at 10:52 PM

Lol, are they kidding? “Record” numbers?

The damned thing has only been in existence for a few months and the numbers have been horrible. That like going from 1 to 3 and bragging of a 300% increase!

mitchellvii on December 26, 2013 at 11:50 PM

If only republicans weren’t so partisanly obstructionist it would be smoother sailing for obamacare by now.

MT on December 26, 2013 at 8:50 AM

fify

nonpartisan on December 26, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Well that makes sense… when your football team loses the big game, who do you blame?

The players, for fumbling the ball and playing poorly? NO.
The coach, for not calling better plays? NO.

You blame the cheerleaders and the crowd for not cheering LOUDLY enough to force a win.

And when a law fails to work as expected, you don’t blame the people who wrote the law, or voted for the law… you blame the people who voted against the law for not cheering loudly enough.

Cheering, not ability is the only way to success… right?

Or is there some other form of logic you think you’re using to blame bystanders to the law (the didn’t write any part of it, or vote for it after all) for the way the law is failing?

gekkobear on December 27, 2013 at 4:12 PM

well, if you want me to subsidize your son’s health insurance, it is sorta my business

nonpartisan on December 26, 2013 at 9:36 AM

So you agree with Rush about Sandra Fluke? Or do we not have a right to know about Julia’s business despite paying for her birth control and abortions?

oryguncon on December 30, 2013 at 11:59 PM

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