Who is getting new access to health insurance through Obamacare?

White House celebrates healthcare bill passage

White House celebrates healthcare bill passage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allegedly, when Secretary Sebelius was sizing the software for Obamacare exchanges, she was planning on serving six or seven million through the Obamacare exchanges, during the first open season.  Yet when Obamacare was being sold, and even now when it is being justified, the goal given is to make sure everyone is insured.  It appears to be designed to fall far short of this goal.

We are being told the number of uninsured in the country is far above that, 30 million.  I have a vague, perhaps faulty, recollection that when Obama (Pelosi?) Care was being created, that number was given as 50 million.   Regardless, the planned number of newly insured is less than 1/4 of the total.

In addition, the portion of the workforce that is growing is the part-time sector,  prime candidates for healthcare coverage.  These are the people for which Obamacare was designed, young people who can’t find full time jobs, and who are supposed to be carrying the costs for the rest of us.

Then there are the people who had heath care insurance, either on their own, or through small business benefits.   While the President promised if they liked their insurance, they could keep it, many of them a losing their coverage.  Either it has become too expensive, or disappeared.  These are the responsible people who having lost their insurance, will replace it with exchange insurance.   They do not represent a class of people newly covered by the law, but are simply being shifted to the new insurance.  They may dominate the numbers of those who sign up.

I expect that the group for which Obamacare is designed, those who need subsidies to “afford” the new insurance, will discover it is still too expensive.   They may look at the new insurance and decide not to sign up, or signup for the new insurance but when the bills come due, decide other bills are more important to pay.

I think it will be interesting to compare the number of those with health insurance next January or the January beyond, with the numbers a year or two ago.  Will there be an increase in the number, or percentage, of those insured?

© David B. Snyder, 2013