Most supporters and critics can agree that the goal of Obamacare was to get more Americans covered by health insurance.
Notices that plans would be discontinued began arriving in consumers’ mailboxes in late summer. No one knows how many of the estimated 14 million people who buy their own coverage received them. That’s mostly because some states don’t keep track.
The Associated Press has estimated about 4.2 million, with the biggest numbers in California, Georgia, Florida and Washington, based on counts from regulators that track the notices and insurers’ statements.
Now some of these people will not have received cancellation notices because their policies were indeed grandfathered. Some will have expiration dates that are not at year end so their policies won’t expire in the tidal wave of expirations hitting America on 12/31.
But millions have received cancellation notices, and only hundreds of thousands have signed up through HealthCare.gov and the state exchanges.
This is “the gap,” the “net-net” of Obamacare at the start of year one. And it is a huge gap and a giant negative “net-net.”
Here’s the latest release from Washington State Health Benefit Exchange. Only 11,742 people enrolled in non-Medicaid plans as of November 14. 32,176 additional applications are “in process.”
How many cancellations went out in Washington State? The best estimate I can find, from the state’s Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, is 290,000. The deadline to enroll is December 15 for January 1 coverage. Even if many of these 290,000 were re-driected to expanded Medicaid coverage, there still appears to be a huge gap developing in Washington State of previously covered people who will be without coverage come January 1. If illness or accident befalls them between that date and the date they obtain coverage, they face financial ruin of the sort the president and Obamacare supporters.
Real reporters would know this score in every state, and they would be on alert in the country’s emergency rooms and admitting reception areas of the nation’s hospitals on 1/1/14 for the real victims of Obamacare –those who had health care on 12/31, but don’t as the new year arrives.