It’s a numbers, waiting game
Like much else with Obamacare, the revisions to the goals of enrollees make the program look like something of a success.
The administration said the system was on track to sign up about 6.5 million, not quite the 7 million that was the original target for the flawed online signup system and state signups. However, the administration, as it has done with delays on various mandates in the regulation, had revised its goal to 6 million, so the system surely appears to have signups that have exceeded expectations.
But problems with the website and shifting targets aside, the real problems remain.
The Congressional Budget Office says there still will be 31 million uninsured in 2020, despite the sales pitch that the Obamacare system would mean insurance for all. It means that while the situation will be better than the near 50 million uninsured now, it will be far from universal coverage.
There are still tales of people being forced to change physicians, hospitals and facing deep deductibles and higher premiums in addition to tales of people who actually have managed to obtain lower cost insurance.
And the administration has delayed and delayed again requirements on employers. A major court challenge about requiring people to pay for forms of care that run counter to their religious beliefs remains to be resolved.
And with each potential adjustment to the law comes the potential for unintended consequences. The trial balloon floating about raising the employer provision requiring companies to carry insurance above a certain number of employees from 50 to 100 workers won’t really change much except the number of people driven into the public-supported system.
And surveys show that far less than a majority of Americans support the program or believe it will work as intended, though it remains to be seen if that will carry over into the mid-term elections to enable real and meaningful change or repeal of major sections of the law to occur.
It’s a numbers game, but until the administration stops worrying about looking good for meeting one of dozens of goals in the health care act that have been missed, the true impacts, positive and negative, won’t be felt for many more months.