Republicans have a challenge: Come up with something better than Obamacare. Luckily enough, that should be easy since we are approaching the conclusion that for all the taxes, all the policy cancellations and all the negative consequences for hiring and work hours, we haven’t accomplished much:
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 48 million individuals in the United States were uninsured at the end of 2012. The actual number was 47.9 million total uninsured individuals; 9.5 million were non-citizens who are ineligible for Obamacare. This results in a net number of 38.4 million uninsured citizens, 35.1 million native-born and 3.3 million naturalized citizens. . . . It is estimated that nearly three million individuals have signed up for Medicaid for the first time. Let’s assume that all of these individuals gained coverage because of the newly expanded Medicaid program.
McKinsey & Co. conducted a study on enrollment through Healthcare.gov and the state insurance exchanges using data as of Feb. 1. At that time, 3.3 million had enrolled. McKinsey concluded that only 14 percent, or about 500,000 individuals, were “actual uninsured who have actually gained health coverage.” An additional 13 percent of uninsured individuals had signed up for Obamacare but had not paid the premium. Of those who had signed up by that time, 73 percent either had insurance and preferred to choose a plan on the exchange or enrolled because their individual plans were canceled.
On Thursday, the Obama administration announced that enrollment had reached six million. Using McKinsey’s findings of 14 percent gaining new coverage, only 900,000 previously uninsured individuals will have acquired insurance as a result of the exchanges.
In other words, all Republicans have to do is cover 900,000 new people in a cheaper and less disruptive fashion than Obamacare does and they’ve met the challenge. Heck, you could just give the 900,000 their own doctors and you’d have done the job.
The administration, with much help from the media, has tried a sleight of hand, making the goal of 7 million sign-ups the target. In fact, the goal was to significantly reduce the 30 million number and to make health care more affordable and accessible. And let’s not forget the promise was to do all that while allowing you to keep your plan and your doctor. Surely the GOP can do better, right?