They're breaking out the champagne at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue tonight. In case you didn't hear, 7.1 million Americans signed up for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.
And if you want all the drama-laden details, Politico took the time to type a true all-American underdog tale of how the White House managed to surprise even itself. After a devastating roll-out, a glitchy website, and low enrollment numbers, President Obama and his team dug in their heels, developing the finest strategy for winning the Obamacare debate. They got celebrities, they got radio hits, they got TV ads, they got hot men in boxer briefs and bros doing keg-stands—they even got your mom. They threw it together and at the last second hit that buzzer three-pointer to win the game.
And the crowd went wild!!
Not so fast. I’ll confess: Republicans shot themselves in the foot taking easy jabs at the faulty website and dismal enrollment numbers. Focusing on the long-term economic effects of the law and making tough claims about America’s future was far harder than simply mocking the president staring failure in the face. We knew the numbers didn’t mean anything. We knew even with a flawless website Obamacare was a disaster. But we blogged, tweeted, and giggled at the president—much the same way the White House staff is reveling in their 7.1 million enrollees.
But reaching the mystical 7.1 doesn’t mean anything. Let’s review:
- We still don’t know the ratio of young to old or healthy to sick enrollees.
- We still don’t know how many people will pay their first month's premium.
- We still don’t know how many of these folks were previously uninsured.
- We don’t even know how many of these people actually lost their insurance because of Obamacare and were forced to go to the exchanges to re-gain coverage.
The point is that 7.1 million just isn’t the point. The point is that Obama lied to Americans. He said you could keep your doctors – but you couldn’t. He said you could keep your health insurance – but you couldn’t. He said that more people would be insured – but they aren’t. He said that insurance would be affordable – but it’s not.
How many people do or don’t sign up is irrelevant. Remember, with a penalty staring them in the face, many enrollees felt as though they had no other choice. What is relevant is the quality, affordability, and accessibility of that care.
As I wrote yesterday, more people are uninsured today than they were before Obamacare passed. As these Obamacare horror stories prove, the price for care has skyrocketed. Not to mention many of the recipients of Obamacare don’t know how to utilize their newly purchased plans.
If not repealed, the other mandates of the law will activate and Americans will feel the full effects of the ACA. If they escaped this time, the harsh realities are on the way (regardless of what Politico thinks).
In the meantime, you might as well head over to the White House party – it’s funded by your tax dollars anyway.