Author Topic: California's 'November Surge' Not Enough to Overcome the October Purge  (Read 269 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/11/25/California-s-November-surge-Not-Enough-to-Overcome-the-October-Purge

California's 'November Surge' Not Enough to Overcome the October Purge

by John Sexton 25 Nov 2013, 11:00 AM PDT

Health care wonks are crowing about a "November surge" in enrollment. Will the November surge will be able to make up for the October purge, i.e. the millions who were dropped from existing plans because of Obamacare's new minimum standards for coverage? In California, there is reason to think it may not.

In a piece posted at Wonkblog Friday, author Sarah Kliff introduced the term  "November surge" into the discussion of enrollment figures. According to Kliff, the uptick in enrollment, especially in California, is reason for optimism:

   
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Some state-based marketplaces had a pretty smooth launch, and are seeing the pace of enrollment speed up daily. California has lead [led] the bunch; the state's enrollments have grown steadily in November and now account for nearly a full third of all health law sign-ups. The state has had its strongest two weeks of enrollment this month.


The enrollment surge in California, and the idea that it was part of a broader pattern, was first reported by LA Times health writer Noam Levey a week ago. Levey's piece was widely quoted, including by Sarah Kliff, but his claims did not stand up to much scrutiny. For instance, Levey claimed that Kentucky was "outpacing" its enrollment estimates. A spokesperson for the state says no such estimates exist.

Both Levey and Kliff fail to ask the most important question. How soon will current enrollment trends balance out the number of people who have been dropped from their insurance as a result of Obamacare grandfathering regulations? In other words, can a November surge make up for the October purge?

Health insurance expert Bob Laszewski suggests California has a long way to go before the net enrollment shows a gain. He lays out the figures in a post published Monday:

   
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California has 5.3 million uninsured eligible to buy in the exchange with half estimated to be subsidy eligible.

    California is cancelling another 1.1 million people of which Covered California has estimated 510,000 qualify for a subsidy they can only get if they go to Covered California. At least 80% need to act by December 23 to avoid losing their coverage.

    The state is spending $250 million in federal money to get people signed up––dramatically more than any other state.

    The Covered California goal is to sign-up 500,000 to 700,000 subsidy eligible people by March 31.


Laszewski concludes "Looking at these numbers, if they don't have well more than 500,000 people signed up by December 31, I would have to think the number of uninsured in California would have grown."

Any fair accounting of the enrollment figures needs to keep in mind the number of people who--contrary to the President's oft-repeated promise--have been kicked off plans they had. In California the enrollment figures for November have improved but they are still a long way from bringing the state back to where it was before the cancellation notices went out.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: California's 'November Surge' Not Enough to Overcome the October Purge
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2013, 09:07:54 PM »
But wait, there's more.

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New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes that Obamacare is a success in California, and the Golden State experience is proof that the entire program would be great if they could just get that darn website to work.

Krugman's column doesn't discuss the quality or cost of the health plans offered on the California exchange at all. To make his case, Krugman cites precisely two pieces of data. First, he notes that "enrollment is surging. At this point, more than 10,000 applications are being completed per day, putting the state well on track to meet its overall targets for 2014 coverage." Second, he writes that California has a "balanced risk pool — that is, it must sign up young, healthy Americans as well as their older, less healthy compatriots. And so far, so good: in October, 22.5 percent of California enrollees were between the ages of 18 and 34, slightly above that group’s share of the population."

"What we have in California, then, is a proof of concept," writes Krugman. "Yes, Obamacare is workable — in fact, done right, it works just fine."

But in reality, the numbers are not impressive. Obamacare has canceled the existing insurance policies of 1.1 million Californians (something Krugman doesn't mention), and only 80,000 Californians had signed up for Obamacare by the middle of November (another thing Krugman doesn't mention). Is it really much of a surprise that 10,000 people are signing up for Obamacare each day if a million lost their plans and have nowhere else to turn.

Health care industry consultant Bob Laszewski looks at the California numbers and is left scratching his head:

•California has 5.3 million uninsured eligible to buy in the exchange with half estimated to be subsidy eligible.
•California is cancelling another 1.1 million people of which Covered California has estimated 510,000 qualify for a subsidy they can only get if they go to Covered California. At least 80% need to act by December 23 to avoid losing their coverage.
•The state is spending $250 million in federal money to get people signed up––dramatically more than any other state.
•The Covered California goal is to sign-up 500,000 to 700,000 subsidy eligible people by March 31.


Why should we be so impressed with Covered California because they have signed-up 80,000 people so far? Or, even that their goal is to sign-up 500,000 to 700,000 of the state's 6.4 million people––half subsidy eligible––who are uninsured or having their insurance canceled?


Looking at these numbers, if they don't have well more than 500,000 people signed up by December 31, I would have to think the number of uninsured in California would have grown.


If the California exchange is such a success, then why did California Democratic senator Diane Feinstein sign on to the Landrieu bill that would force insurers to sell their old plans (and destroy Obamacare in the process)? If Californians are so happy with the program, why did seven California Democrats in the House buck their party and vote for the GOP's Keep Your Health Plan Act?

Could it be that a functioning website has made Obamacare even more unpopular in California than the rest of the country? Because the state's website is actually working, Californians like Tom Waschura have been able to see for themselves just how much Obamacare will raise their premiums. The functioning website has allowed some Californians, like cancer patient Edie Sundby, to realize that if they like their doctor, they can't keep their doctor.

In the 36 states reliant on the broken federal website, most people haven't had the opportunity to see whether or not Obamacare will increase costs and limit access. So isn't it possible that once Healthcare.gov gets up and running that Obamacare will actually become more unpopular


http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/california-great-obamacare-success-story_768206.html
We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid ~~ Samuel Adams

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: California's 'November Surge' Not Enough to Overcome the October Purge
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2013, 09:19:18 PM »
 goopo  Krugman is an economist who can only add and forgets to subtract.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776


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