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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the 7.1m-impossible-things-before-breakfast dept.

Government 723

An anonymous reader writes "When the Obama administration announced on April 1 that an estimated 7.1 million had signed up for ObamaCare by the end of March, it seemed a nearly impossible achievement. To reach 7.1 million, sign-ups had to rocket up by 67% in just one month. That's astounding enough, but an IBD review of existing ObamaCare enrollment data shows that the mathematical challenge of reaching 7.1 million sign-ups was even tougher."

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i pledge to you... (5, Funny)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 5 months ago | (#46716707)

...if you like your 7.1 million sign-ups, you can keep your 7.1 million sign-ups.

Re:i pledge to you... (-1, Flamebait)

bit trollent (824666) | about 5 months ago | (#46717257)

When 10 million people sign up, republicans will rush to yell

"See I told you Obama was lying about 7 million insurance signups! It's 10 million.

Obama is the worst liar in history!!!"

By the way, when an insurance company dropped you after you got sick before the ACA, you couldn't keep it your insurance then either. So Obama never should have made that promise, as it was obviously contrary to reality, both before and after the ACA.

The main difference is that now you are guaranteed the ability to purchase real health insurance. It's a tragedy I know...

When government saves a life, Jesus punches a dolphin in the gills.

Fuck Obamacare (-1, Flamebait)

rea1l1 (903073) | about 5 months ago | (#46716737)

This shit is so unconstitutional. How dare you fine me for not buying your services.

Money is speech according to the Supreme Court, and so I say no to Obama care.

I'm making use of my first amendment by not giving my money to this system.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716809)

This ALWAYS this you crybabies whine about right up until it is your ASS being left out front of the hospital. Then it is all about SAVE ME!

Re:Fuck Obamacare (-1, Flamebait)

rea1l1 (903073) | about 5 months ago | (#46716885)

Our government spends trillions a year killing and maiming men, women and children around the world and doling out funds to their buddies. If they want to get me insured, give me insurance, don't force me to pay for something I can already not afford.

I shouldn't have to sign up for shit.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716991)

I shouldn't have to sign up for shit.

Reminds me of someone I know that was going to move to Canada... "oh, it's socialist medicine there, I'll be covered as soon I show up, right?" Uh... no, the world doesn't work that way.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#46717151)

No it doesn't. That's just stupid. You realize how much trillions are, right?

Re:Fuck Obamacare (2, Insightful)

TC Wilcox (954812) | about 5 months ago | (#46716983)

This ALWAYS this you crybabies whine about right up until it is your ASS being left out front of the hospital. Then it is all about SAVE ME!

What you say could be 100% true and the ACA could still be unconstitutional. What you are doing here is attacking the person (an imaginary person) rather than attacking the argument. If you want to argue that it is constitutional your best bet would be to go to the constitution and find the parts that you think would allow for this legislation. For help you could read what the supreme court justices said about the legislation.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about 5 months ago | (#46717259)

It's Anonymous Cowards like you that give Anonymous Coward a bad name.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (5, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about 5 months ago | (#46716825)

You can set up a HSA instead of insurance, if you want.

Otherwise, I'll say how dare you expect the rest of us to pay for your health care because you don't want to.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (4, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#46717011)

You can set up a HSA instead of insurance, if you want.

Nope. If you sign up for an HSA [wikipedia.org] then you must also sign up for an HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan). But by getting an HSA+HDHP, you are conforming to Obamacare, not "opting out".

Re:Fuck Obamacare (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 5 months ago | (#46717187)

then you must also sign up for an HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan)

If you can still find such a thing (especially for a price that isn't 2x as much as a non-HSA-eligible plan with the same terms otherwise)...

HSA plus catastrophic (2, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about 5 months ago | (#46717037)

Is the way it should be. No one should have to pay for your runny nose or whatever. Set aside the money like any normal and prudent person would do and use it for that. If the SHTF, the catastrophic insurance has you covered.

People will pay $60 to get their hair done once a month but think paying $60 for an office visit is robbery. Crazy. Have your hair dresser prescribe the antibiotics then.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (3, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 5 months ago | (#46717073)

how dare you expect the rest of us to pay for your health care because you don't want to.

Such as the smokers, the obese, alcoholics and drug users who can continue with their merry lifestyles, safe and secure in the knowledge everyone else is forced to hand over their money so they don't have to take personal responsibility for their actions, right?

Obamacare (as well as Romneycare) does nothing to lower health costs or ease the burden on the system so long as people are not forced to live healthier lifestyles. All they are doing is extracting money from people simply for the sake of extracting money and giving it to insurance companies who have gotten a huge financial windfall.

Considering how people on here rant about big bad corporations, this point should have been obvious, but I guess when you can take money from people, simply because you can, that never enters into the equation.

Slavery Alive & Well (0)

rea1l1 (903073) | about 5 months ago | (#46717219)

Recognize that you are supporting slavery in a minor form by forcing someone to do something preemptively.
I mean it. I don't want you to pay for my hospital bills unless you want to. Hospitals should not be required to provide healthcare.

I will die if I must, but the abolishment of all forms of slavery will indeed be complete.

Give me liberty or give me death. Really, I welcome it.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (3, Interesting)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 5 months ago | (#46717245)

Otherwise, I'll say how dare you expect the rest of us to pay for your health care because you don't want to.

Not wanting to be forced to buy health insurance by a government that has no real constitutional authority to force you to buy what it tells you to is not he same as not expecting to have to pay for health care.

I just saw the nice new box on my W2 that shows "employer health insurance" payments. It was about five times what I would have paid out of my own pocket for my health care last year. Had my employer been legally allowed to hand me that money directly and allow me to pay as I go, I'd be several thousand dollars ahead of the game.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 5 months ago | (#46716855)

You are far from the first person to attempt what essentially amounts to tax evasion on allegedly legal grounds... let us know how that works out for you in a year or two.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716861)

fine, don't expect society to pay for you when you get sick

Re:Fuck Obamacare (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#46717191)

But that's exactly what the ACA does.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716879)

Good, then when you're dying in the hospital we can all not pay for your life-saving care because you didn't help keep the cost of healthcare low and not feel guilty about it. Also, this is EXACTLY how car insurance works. Do you complain about that too, or just Obamacare (probably because a black man's name is on this).

Re:Fuck Obamacare (1)

daemonhunter (968210) | about 5 months ago | (#46717307)

Except I can CHOOSE to not own a car, and I don't need insurance at that point.

Call me when I can CHOOSE to not carry health insurance.

That's why so many are crying foul.

My question is why we didn't just roll this whole broken process under medicare.
It's not like the government hasn't been in the health industry for the last century anyway.
At least then it's less confusing who's robbing you. Better the devil you know.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716883)

We all want freedom. I want the freedom not to pay for your healthcare when you end up in the hospital. Anyone against Obamacare has to be fore allowing hospitals the right to refuse care. At least that is logically consistent. No one is forced to buy or provide a service.

Good luck getting the opposition to support allowing hospitals to let people die at their property line.

Not so fast, cowboy ... (1, Insightful)

golodh (893453) | about 5 months ago | (#46716943)

There was a legal challenge to the ACA already, and it was defeated in court. In other words: your views on the constitutionality of the ACA aren't shared by the current Supreme Court, and therefore they are pretty much irrelevant. Get over it.

Until there is solid evidence of malversation, rants of the calibre of "Gee ... those numbers are big ... so can they be true" cannot be taken seriously.

Oh, and have you filed your demand to see Obama's birth certificate yet? Be sure to demand that he proves he's got a pulse too. And demand that he be doused with Holy Water too ... just in case, eh?

Re:Not so fast, cowboy ... (1, Troll)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#46717211)

There was a legal challenge to the Fugitive Slave Act that was also defeated by the Supreme Court. What's your point?

Re:Not so fast, cowboy ... (1)

rea1l1 (903073) | about 5 months ago | (#46717303)

THIS. The Supreme Court does nothing but maintain the status quo, only changing its mind later when the status quo fears the alternative: actual rebellion.

Re:Not so fast, cowboy ... (3, Insightful)

xevioso (598654) | about 5 months ago | (#46717309)

That the Fugitive Slave Act was deemed constitutional? But the 13th Amendment to the CONSTITUTION made that irrelevant, didn't it?

Re:Not so fast, cowboy ... (0)

scorp1us (235526) | about 5 months ago | (#46717279)

In order for the "tax" to be sustained, it had to
1) be a tax. Obama pledged no new taxes on the middle class.
2) is a tax on the "privilege" of "going without" health insurance. Now, we started this nation over a 3% tax on tea. Now we have a tax on "going without"? The Constitution died that day, because if they tax the absence of something, they can of course tax the presence of something. This rendering all the taxing provisions of the Constitution irrelevant.

Re:Not so fast, cowboy ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46717281)

There was a legal challenge to the ACA already, and it was defeated in court. In other words: your views on the constitutionality of the ACA aren't shared by the current Supreme Court, and therefore they are pretty much irrelevant. Get over it.

No irrelevant... UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Constitution clearly states that the arbiters of what is and what is not constitutional is the supreme court... any argument that they lack the authority to decide what is and what is not constitutional would likely not be supported by the courts, and would thus be found unconstitutional...

I'd encourage people who state that obamacare is unconstitutional to not "Get over it." but instead to RTFC (Read the Fucking Constitution)

Re:Fuck Obamacare (4, Insightful)

SoftwareArtist (1472499) | about 5 months ago | (#46717023)

Suppose that instead of calling it a fine for not buying insurance, they had simply described it differently. Suppose they decided to tax everyone by a fixed amount, and then offered a tax rebate to anyone who bought insurance. Would you still feel that was unconstitutional? The government has the right to levy taxes - no question about that. And they have the right to spend money however they want, including giving it out as tax rebates to encourage particular behaviors. Yet the two situations are completely identical as far as money is concerned. The only difference is how they describe it. What makes the first unconstitutional and the second not?

Anyway, your claim about the Supreme Court is simply wrong. They've ruled that choosing to spend money in particular ways in particular circumstances is protected free speech, but they've never made any blanket claim that money=speech. For example, they still allow lots of restrictions on donations to political campaigns. You can't donate more than a fixed amount to any one candidate, and while you're allowed to buy political advertisements on your own, you can't coordinate with the campaigns you intend to support. And much more relevantly: so far as I know, they have never ruled in any context that you have a right to refuse to pay taxes or fines levied by the government.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (1)

Anon-Admin (443764) | about 5 months ago | (#46717215)

The constitution gives the government the privilege of collecting taxes via the 16th amendment
(People have rights, governments have privileges granted to them by the consent of the governed.)

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

And via Article 1 which states

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and General Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”

So, tell me which of those two limited cases allows the government to collect a tax with the intent of returning it as a tax credit after you do what they tell you?

Re:Fuck Obamacare (1)

Artraze (600366) | about 5 months ago | (#46717045)

The 16th amendment [wikipedia.org] is extremely dangerous. It gives the federal government the constitution power to tax your income without limit or restriction. While a "free speech tax" per se might be ruled unconstitutional, when it comes to freedom regarding your money the rule is quite clear: pay your taxes or else.

So, you are "free" to not pay the insurance companies, of course, but the government is allowed to tax you as much as they want if you don't (well, if you do too, but for less at least). Maybe it might be worth it to you at some penalty level, but that can always change.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | about 5 months ago | (#46717193)

The same way they dare fine you for not buying roads, police, fire, etc.

Re:Fuck Obamacare (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 5 months ago | (#46717275)

So you didn't sign up for selective service right.....

Re:Fuck Obamacare (0)

saleenS281 (859657) | about 5 months ago | (#46717293)

Well, there were really two options on the table:

1. We allow emergency rooms to refuse treatment to anyone who cannot provide proof of insurance. That would likely include anyone in a bad accident whose wallet/ID didn't remain on them. I'm sure we could start embedding RFID tags into the chest of every human being to carry their identity and insurance information, but short of that, I'm open to your suggestion on how else we determine who to treat and who to turn away.

2. We force everyone to carry insurance as a cost of living in this country, realizing that as a first world nation we aren't going to let people die in the streets, but letting them go to the emergency room every time they have a sniffle is unsustainable. Or worse yet, have people who do get into a bad accident just skip out on the bill and declare bankruptcy.

You can't have your cake and eat it too. There's literally no possible way that forcing everyone to buy insurance can cost us more than having people without insurance use the ER as their regular doctors visits short of a criminal act of swindling by the insurance companies and/or hospitals.

Can the number of Christmas Gifts be Believed? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716763)

To reach the number of Christmas gifts said to be bought for Christmas, gift purchases would have had to rocket up by 67% in December alone...

Really? (0, Flamebait)

nurb432 (527695) | about 5 months ago | (#46716779)

You really expect to believe the numbers coming out of Washington? Gullible aren't we?

Sure, this is the worst administration for lies in our lifetime, but even before this one, they still fudged numbers. It's just the way the game is played out there.

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

fightinfilipino (1449273) | about 5 months ago | (#46716867)

You really expect to believe the numbers coming out of Washington? Gullible aren't we?

Sure, this is the worst administration for lies in our lifetime, but even before this one, they still fudged numbers. It's just the way the game is played out there.

define "lifetime."

also, i'm pretty sure THIS was the worst falsehood from a U.S. presidential administration in our relative lifespans: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/st... [cbsnews.com]

Re:Really? (4, Funny)

Lendrick (314723) | about 5 months ago | (#46716977)

Sure, this is the worst administration for lies in our lifetime

You're very well-spoken for a five year old.

Politics as usuall (1, Interesting)

Q-Hack! (37846) | about 5 months ago | (#46716787)

Like most numbers that come out of government, it takes a bit of creative license. Both major parties have mastered this deception. The real question is... Are we better off now that this law is in place? To which I have to think, probably not.

Re:Politics as usuall (3, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 5 months ago | (#46716881)

for some, its about getting insurance AT ALL if you want it.

pre-existing bullshit was one thing that needed fixing and its fixed.

SOME discount if you are a single buyer (not group plan based) is also there. in fact, it can be lower than cobra payments.

so, there was some benefit.

I'm unlucky in that my cobra payment is about as bad as my pre-obamacare non-group policy. I was unemployed with single policy for a while, then went contract and had a better pkg, then went full time and had a pretty decent pkg, now I'm laid off, on cobra and its back to non-group level monthly premiums that I was doing before I had that last job.

the insurance companies are raping us again, and using this as an excuse. nothing I'm doing has anything to do with obamacare but my rates went up a lot over the last yr or two and the 'discounts' are not really discounts that I can see.

but still, they can't cancel you for having pre-existing stuff and they can't totally deny you, either. those were 2 major evils pre-obama.

Re:Politics as usuall (2, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 5 months ago | (#46717155)

Like most numbers that come out of government, it takes a bit of creative license. Both major parties have mastered this deception. The real question is... Are we better off now that this law is in place? To which I have to think, probably not.

"Probably not?" You're going to have to explain that one. Maybe some people are worse off, but millions are MUCH better off by not being denied health care for pre-existing conditions, being able to stay on their parent's healthcare plans, etc.

Granted, this IS a right-wing change to health insurance (from the previous generation of right-wingers, not the Tea Party wacko set we have now). This is a gimme to health care insurers, with no single payer, etc. It's a single step, but it's a good one until the Tea Party flames out and we can get back to having a somewhat functional Congress again. That's going to be a long time in coming, I suspect, so for now, it seems as good as we're going to get.

Re:Politics as usuall (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 5 months ago | (#46717305)

I'd rather ask someone who took advantage of ACA and ask them and not some flunky on slashdot.

"Obamacare Enrollment"? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716793)

I don't care how accurate the numbers are; I care about the sloppy language. What they mean is that 7.1 million people have applied for coverage through the Federally Facilitated Marketplace.

I'm really fed up with this lazy language. It's ended up confusing millions of people who are just looking for some healthcare coverage. A lot of people seem to think that "Obamacare" is now some federal version of Medicaid, or young-people version of Medicare--a government program that pays medical expenses.
I don't care whether the Republicrats or Democans started the confusing talk; let's all be part of stopping it.

Re:"Obamacare Enrollment"? (5, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 5 months ago | (#46716877)

It's not sloppy or lazy language. It's deceitful language.

They know full well that there are not 7.1 million newly insured people who are previously uninsured, which is basically what Carney claimed in a press conference yesterday.

About 5 million of those people are those who had their policies canceled, and about 2 million are previously-uninsured/uninsurable people who signed up. The number of people who have actually paid, out of these 7 million, remains a closely-guarded secret.

15-20% of enrollees have not paid, not insured? (4, Insightful)

drnb (2434720) | about 5 months ago | (#46716989)

Plus a huge number of enrollees have not actually made an insurance premium payment so they are not really signed up and insured. What was the percentage being reported, something like 15% to 20%?

Re:"Obamacare Enrollment"? (2, Informative)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#46717283)

It's outright propaganda. The news took the numbers and ran with them declaring victory. Stop it with the stupid both parties do it schtick. Both parties didn't pass the ACA.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716795)

.. and all that. It'll be interesting to see their justification for the number because it does seem to buck the trends we were seeing. I'm sure it's more of a Spock-ish exaggeration rather than an outright lie. For example, they may have moved people on an existing program like Medicaid to Obamacare enrollments, which would be valid but not exactly a measure of success (I am just speculating, I don't know if they're even allowed to do that).

Or it could be true. Many people wait to the last minute; hell I haven't done my taxes and its' 4/10 already.

Re:Lies, damned lies, and statistics... (3, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 months ago | (#46716953)

For example, they may have moved people on an existing program like Medicaid to Obamacare enrollments

If you're eligible for Medicaid, you are NOT eligible for the ACA subsidies for health insurance. Which means that if you CHOOSE to buy your own insurance when eligible for Medicaid, insurance will cost you five times what it costs someone who makes a bit more money (and is therefore eligible for subsidies).

That said, what they're not saying, so far, is how many of those 7.5 million (7.1 is sooo yesterday - today's number is 7.5) have actually paid a premium for this new insurance.

Note that many insurance companies aren't going to be accepting new clients after the close of "open enrollment" absent changes in life/employent/whatever. If you marry, divorce, get a job, lose a job, become a widow/widower, you can get insurance, but you can't just any old time.

Apparently the possibility that people might take advantage of the "no pre-existing condition" clause of the ACA to get insurance when something catastrophic happens disturbs the insurance companies' bottom line deeply.

Do Not Question Authority (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716801)

How dare you questions the Federal Government.

ACA was supposed to insure 42 million (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716833)

There were, as Obama claimed, 42 million uninsured Americans before the ACA was passed. The ACA was supposed to insure all Americans.

Here we are 4 years after it passed.

What happened?

Re:ACA was supposed to insure 42 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716905)

What happened?

A huge chunk of people don't want insurance because they know they can just make everyone else pay for their healthcare thanks to EMTALA.

Re:ACA was supposed to insure 42 million (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#46717301)

47 million actually.

What all is included? (1)

crow (16139) | about 5 months ago | (#46716839)

I expect the numbers are right, but the question is what all is included. This wouldn't be just the federal web site. They're almost certainly counting those who signed up through state exchanges. They're also going to count anyone who signed up on paper. All of that is fine, as this is a measure of the program, not of the web site.

But does it include those who signed up for expanded Medicare? Those are people who weren't insured before, and now are thanks to the new law, but it's not what most people think of when they say "Obamacare."

Re:What all is included? (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 5 months ago | (#46717001)

Which would be fine if they consistently reported the numbers. The only two logical answers I can think of to support such a sudden jump. The first is people getting their taxes done and being reminded or even told for the first time about it. The second is that they were previously only reporting the federal exchange and this time around the reported the federal + state exchanges.

It's also not at all indicative of how many people have actually been covered.

Re:What all is included? (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 months ago | (#46717061)

Expanded Medicaid. Not Medicare.

And no, those numbers don't include that.

What those numbers don't show is two things:

1) how many of those people have actually PAID for their insurance. Which is what actually activates the insurance - signing up on the website does nothing but express intent.

2) how many of those people are actually formerly uninsured. Remember those people who lost their insurance plans? Well, if they get insurance under the ACA, they're counted as part of that 7.5 million, even though they had insurance before.

3) Okay, THREE things. how many of those people are in the demographic that the ACA needs to get insured to make the bookkeeping balance - if not enough of the "young invincibles" sign up, health insurance prices for NEXT year are going to be taking quite a jump....

Re:What all is included? (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 5 months ago | (#46717299)

People who signed up in March won't even get their first bill until the end of April. It's not like employee coverage, where it gets deducted magically out of your paycheck.

Approximately 90% of the folks who signed up by the end of 2013 actually did, in fact, make their first payment on time. The remaining 10% either cancelled policy for some reason before payment (maybe they got a new job?) or just didn't pay (being poor sucks. No tax breaks for them.)

No reason to assume the numbers won't hold for the 2014 people, but it won't be until the summer until we know for sure.

ObamaCare numbers aren't relatively more dishonest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716841)

ObamaCare numbers aren't relatively more dishonest than anything else we've heard from the no-talent rodeo clown these last 5 godforsaken years.

In What Way... (0)

captainClassLoader (240591) | about 5 months ago | (#46716845)

..Is this "News for Nerds"? It must be a slow news day, I guess.

The newest Washington scandal will be... (1)

Rakarra (112805) | about 5 months ago | (#46716847)

President Obama personally signed up for health care 4 million times to pump up the numbers.

You heard it here first, I hope. Seems like an "At Midnight" sort of joke.

Believable as anything else they say (0)

tsqr (808554) | about 5 months ago | (#46716849)

My first reaction was, the 7.1 million number is about as credible as anything else this administration says about the policies it wants to promote. Then I remembered that this particular subject is the President's legacy achievement, so it's probably less credible than usual.

Really? Is this Slashdot material? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716853)

Is this news for nerds? Is this directly nerd related stuff? Please, don't bring that political discussion here! It is pointless to really discuss anything was polarized as Obamacare, usually no one can discuss such subject in a clear technical objective way...

Can we trust the 7.1Million number? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716857)

No

It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716873)

According to Betteridge's law of headlines the answer is "no.", but I feel it's a trap.

It's California (5, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 5 months ago | (#46716895)

California's exchange is well capable of providing a mere 7 Million registrations and was not ever having problems while the Federal site was the subject of so much news controversy.

I am celebrating this event because This is the first time that Bruce Perens can get insurance coverage! I operate my own company and have previously only had access to insurance through my wife's employer. All of my family, my wife, my son, and I, have each individually been rejected by private insurers for what was esentially medical trivia. In my son's case, it was because he took a test they didn't like even though he passed it.

Not everyone understands the B.S. that private insurers were permitted to put people through.

Re:It's California (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | about 5 months ago | (#46717071)

I am celebrating this event because This is the first time that Bruce Perens can get insurance coverage!

Are you saying that there was no insurer in CA that would have covered any of the three of you for any plan? Because I find that very hard to believe.

I'm not familiar with California, but every state that I've ever lived in has had a high risk pool that could not reject anybody. I'm guessing that CA also had a high risk pool, but you just didn't like the price, not that I blame you.

Re:It's California (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46717181)

If something exists, but no one can afford it, it may as well not exist.

Also, if he or a family member had a pre-existing condition, it's certainly possible that, before the ACA, no insurance company would grant them coverage.

Re:It's California (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 5 months ago | (#46717273)

There were two sorts of plans available: There was a company that sold a "trash plan" and sent a sales person to my home. This plan was not written to provide useful medical coverage for a catastrophic condition such as an auto accident with severe injury. Basically, it was a "feel good about being insured until you try to use it" plan which had the main purpose of producing income for a fraudster. I am very glad that such things are being prohibited now because I know there are lots of people who are not as careful readers of terms as I am.

The second was priced so prohibitively high that it seemed to be intended to deter the customer from purchase.

Re:It's California (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46717075)

California's exchange is well capable of providing a mere 7 Million registrations

Perhaps capable of 7M, but only delivered 1.2M:
http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/politicsnow/la-pn-california-health-exchange-latino-signups-20140403,0,6174416.story#axzz2yVklzoDs
http://www.californiahealthline.org/insight/2014/part-of-early-exchange-success-due-to-insuring-the-already-insured

"California had the greatest number of uninsured residents of any state, seven million...In 2015, an estimated 5.6 million Californians will be uninsured. Of this population, 2.6 million are expected to take up coverage, but 3.1 million are expected to stay uninsured": http://www.chcf.org/publications/2013/12/californias-uninsured#ixzz2yVmWJeDG

Re:It's California (3, Informative)

n1ywb (555767) | about 5 months ago | (#46717141)

Hi Bruce,

I also have my own company, with one employee. I have been purchasing coverage on the private market for my family of 4 for about $880 / mo. Now that plan is being cancelled by my insurance company because it's not grandfathered. To purchase an equivalent plan through my state exchange is going to cost about $1200 mo. I make just enough that I don't qualify for meaningful subsidies, and being self employed my subsidy eligibility doesn't take into account my huge self employment tax burden. So I am left with the unpalatable options of going with a crappy "bronze" plan with a huge deductable, or having to spend spend an extra $320/mo for the the coverage I already have. If the new state plan is "better" in some way than my old coverage it's not obvious to me how. I'm sorry you had so many issues signing up for private insurance, but for me it seems like ObamaCare is a significant net loss.

woo hoo (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#46716913)

It's amazing what technical accomplishments people can achieve when they get together, concentrate, and fire crooked ass contractors who don't know what the fuck they're doing.

And that's surprising why? (5, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | about 5 months ago | (#46716915)

There was a deadline. People put stuff off to the deadline, especially when it means it's going to cost them money.

For comparison, this page [blogspot.com] has a graph of tax-related Google queries. Big shock: they spike right before deadlines in January and April. (That's a proxy for tax filings, for which I couldn't find a decent source. I suspect that tax filings are probably even more spread out, since many people get money back and would rather do it early.)

Combined with problems that would have caused people who tried earlier to fail, it doesn't seem at all likely that numbers would go up by a factor of 2/3. If you'd told me it was an order of magnitude, I might have been surprised. IBD has a history of a negative view of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") and so I'm not especially inclined to see their incredulity is anything other than ideology.

Why is this so difficult to believe? (5, Interesting)

Rakarra (112805) | about 5 months ago | (#46716917)

To reach 7.1 million, sign-ups had to rocket up by 67% in just one month. That's astounding enough.

A very very large number of people, myself included, tend to wait until the last minute to do things, especially if it's not something they particularly want to do. Especially if it's something they don't especially NEED right now, and will have to pay by the month for.

Just ask the IRS for a graph of how many people self-file their taxes in April as opposed to Jan/Feb. At least there there is the motivation for getting a refund earlier. There may be some people who have conditions that need to be treated now, but I'm willing to bet that the list of healthier people who never got insurance is much larger.

Re:Why is this so difficult to believe? (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 5 months ago | (#46717039)

March is the perfect time to file taxes. Much more leisurely. There's basically no driving forces that push people to do taxes in March. January/February is full of the habitually early filers (and those attempting to get a check in before spring break). Everyone else pretty much forgets or waits until April.

It depends on your frame of mind. (5, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 5 months ago | (#46716919)

Casual observation suggests, Republicans would find it very hard to believe and the Democrats would find it totally within the realm of possibilities. My brother is consultant for PeopleSoft benefits management module. According to him, about 10% of the employees enroll as soon as the period opens. After that spike there is a lull, and about 50% of the employees enroll in the last week (of a typical 4 week open period), and about 25% enroll on the last day. About 1 in 1000 miss the deadline and send despo emails and come up with sob stories why they missed it and beg to change their options. About 1 in 10000 realize they have missed the enrollment period only when they show up at a doctors offices and the friendly receptionist tells them, "Sorry Mrs McGillacady, the card is not going through". Based on that, I would say the profile of surging enrollment in the last few days/weeks seems to be consistent.

Re:It depends on your frame of mind. (2)

Lendrick (314723) | about 5 months ago | (#46717043)

Seriously.

From the article:

an eye-popping 90% increase in just the last month of the six-month open enrollment period.

That's not eye-popping at all. The enrollment numbers didn't even double in the last month. Those number are completely ho-hum, and if anything, I'd expect it to be even more skewed to the last minute.

Its a conspiracy - lulz (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716921)

So the 'evidence' is someone who doesn't like the program in the first place, scratching his head and saying I don't believe you could sign up that many people that close to a deadline.

That's like saying, I don't believe that xxx million did their taxes because only a small percentage had completed them in early March. People procrastinate until the last minute, end of story.

Re:Its a conspiracy - lulz (1)

Rakarra (112805) | about 5 months ago | (#46717047)

So the 'evidence' is someone who doesn't like the program in the first place, scratching his head and saying I don't believe you could sign up that many people that close to a deadline.

It's almost like he didn't believe that there was a huge embarrassing failure in the system six months ago that the feds made a 'tech surge' (lol) to correct.
Or that no one realized that everyone would wait and planned for lots of late signups.

Terrible article (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716927)

Actual summary of article:
"It seems really unlikely the enrollment numbers got met because that would have meant a lot of last minute sign-ups *shrugs*"

"Oh and by the way even if the enrollment numbers got met, it probably doesn't count because if you haven't paid your first month's premium you don't count as an enrollment number for some reason because we said so"

Politimath is different than real math (3, Informative)

PseudoCoder (1642383) | about 5 months ago | (#46716939)

If you play with the definition of things then you can make the numbers be whatever you want. Read a report last week that more than 1/3 of those were people that were dropped at the beginning of the year (which means there's very little real gain in number of people insured), and 1/4 hadn't actually paid. So the number is just a topical headline that they feed the media so they can pat their backs, but breaks down under serious scrutiny. Like "we've deported more illegal immigrants than the previous administration". Truth is they changed the definition of "deported" to count people who were stopped at the border and turned around, which had never been counted as a deportation before. Meanwhile the Border Patrolman's union is complaining that the administration and DHS/ICE are making their job nearly impossible, but the media won't cover them, and they actually kicked the leader of the union out of congressional hearings.

But they're the most transparent EVER!

April Fools! (1)

sirsky (53613) | about 5 months ago | (#46716985)

Just look at when they announced these numbers!

"Ahhhh, hahaha, GOTCHA!" -Obama

WHAT...Obama NOT telling the truth?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46716993)

Say it ain't so! Why Obama would NEVER dissemble, twist, or distort the facts, especially on something as politically important as his pet insurance-for-all scheme!

California 2016 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46717015)

In 2016 California will become a battleground state because of Obamacare...

News for Nerds? Or Clickbait for Idiots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46717017)

This solely a political piece of flame bait. If you are against AFA you'll believe any evidence that appears to support it, if you do support AFA you won't believe it. Then there is everyone else who just doesn't f'n care anymore. Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, It doesn't matter you're all self identified idealogues.

Give me apathy, or you know, whatever I don't care.

Creative Counting (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | about 5 months ago | (#46717021)

Sure, you can believe them that 7.5 million have enrolled. It comes down to how you define 'enrolled', which the government defines as "someone put an insurance choice in their electronic kart." That would be like CDW saying they sold 100,000 LaserJet printers, just because someone placed one into their basket. The reality is that that majority of the insurance plans placed into the insurance basket was never completed. And of those that did complete the process, many never paid their first premium, which ultimately gives us a much smaller number of ACTUALLY INSURED people via ObamaCare.

And how many are actually paying and thus covered? Less than 1 million.

Re:Creative Counting (1)

guru42101 (851700) | about 5 months ago | (#46717227)

That is a doubtfully low number. KY alone, last I heard, had around 370k plans paid for and a 60%+ decrease in uncovered individuals.

7.1 million is pathetically low, so ya I believe (2, Interesting)

bigpat (158134) | about 5 months ago | (#46717035)

In the first year of Obamacare we will still have more uninsured than in the last year of the Bush administration

7.1 million sign ups out of over 300 million people for a "mandatory" participation program is truly pathetic regardless whether it is above or below what was expected. Yes yes, I know the number of uninsured was closer to 60 million, so basically you are getting adoption among the intended uninsured population of just 12%. Just 12% of uninsured people are choosing Obamacare/ACA, that is what is remarkable.

Regardless of how you feel about the fact they decided to use a regressive fine on middle class taxpayers in order to force people to buy insurance... it simply ain't working.

Sure that meager adoption rate will go up over the next two years as the fines for not having insurance go up, but that is basically it. We are still left with millions and millions of uninsured.

Re:7.1 million is pathetically low, so ya I believ (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 5 months ago | (#46717183)

7.1 million sign ups out of over 300 million people for a "mandatory" participation program is truly pathetic regardless whether it is above or below what was expected.

Are you sure that's the right comparison? There are over 300 million people in the US, but you only have to apply for "Obamacare" if you don't have employer-provided health care, you aren't covered by your parents, you aren't qualified to draw on Medicare or Medicaid, and your obligation is waived for religious or moral reasons. This remainder only comes out to about 20-30 million.

Re:7.1 million is pathetically low, so ya I believ (1)

guru42101 (851700) | about 5 months ago | (#46717195)

I don't know which numbers include children/dependents and which ones don't. That is an important bit of information. If the 60 million is individuals and the 7.1 million is plans, which is how it reads then the total coverage could be significantly higher. If it's the other way around then it is significantly worse.

Re:7.1 million is pathetically low, so ya I believ (4, Informative)

romanval (556418) | about 5 months ago | (#46717235)

Um.. most of US population is already covered though their employers/family plan. They're talking about the 40 million or so Americans who cannot get affordable coverage due to preexisting conditions, income restraints, and the like.

interesting.. (1)

DaWhilly (2555136) | about 5 months ago | (#46717041)

and this article brought to you by the same people that stated Stephen Hawking would never have survived his illness if he lived in the UK and had to deal with their medical system.
https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]

How many were kicked out of their existing plan? (1)

neilo_1701D (2765337) | about 5 months ago | (#46717077)

Weren't something like 6 million people kicked out of their existing health plans and had to enroll in a new one?

So 7.1 million enrollments less the 6 million who already had health plans makes 1.1 fresh enrollments. Those numbers seem right in that case.

Wah, wah (2, Insightful)

MetricT (128876) | about 5 months ago | (#46717095)

"The numbers turned out *much* higher than Fox News predicted, and I *know* that many people couldn't possibly want health insurance, because that brochure from the Heritage Foundation said so. It must be a conspiracy..."

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c... [nytimes.com]

When participation is mandatory? I believe. (2)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46717175)

(ANECTODE FOLLOWS)

Back in the nineties, I broke my leg while I was between jobs. I was uninsured. A US Federal Government program (Medicaid) picked up the freight, paying to get my right knee rebuilt. I'd suffered a torn lateral meniscus, a broken tibia and a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. I'd be crippled to this day had not an already existing Federal program been there to provide medical care for low-income people such as I was then.

Now, of course, I am required by law to buy insurance. The fact that the insurance premium is paid by a tax credit means nothing; except that now I'm at the mercy of an insurance company which feels that they are being forced to carry the burden of insuring me (I'm between jobs again - *sigh*). Incidentally, my deductable is over five thousand dollars.

Medicaid sure helped me a lot more than Affordable Healthcare does now; but with mandatory participation, I can certainly believe the numbers being reported. What I want to know is how many of us would have chosen AHCA over Medicaid, had we been given a choice?

Difficult to sign up & most procrastinated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46717189)

Is it really that hard to believe? While I think the way the program was implemented was shitty I think half of the problem was the republican nut jobs. Not that the democrats would have probably done a substantially better job otherwise... but...

What we should have had was a law that allowed people to write off health care costs on there taxes. And I mean if you owed $10,000 in taxes and your health insurance and health care costs came to $3,600 then you would only pay $6,400 in taxes. Would taxes go up? Yes. But it wouldn't be nearly as bad as forcing everybody to get health insurance who were so adamant about not having coverage. For those whose taxes are below a certain threshold you could maintain a government program to cover those which aren't paying into it via other peoples tax dollars. This way it guarantees everybody gets coverage who doesn't have a moral objection to it. Nobody would be forced to get coverage, but essentially everybody would be covered if they wanted coverage.

Then the government should have setup a non-profit to reduce health care costs. Let the for-profit insurance companies compete with a non-profit insurance company. One other thing the government should have done is set a minimum level of coverage that was substantial.

To be honest, no. (1)

Noishkel (3464121) | about 5 months ago | (#46717205)

I say this due to the fact of just how untrustworthy the Federal Government be come. And that's in all ways, not just with this new tax.

As a side note I'd really like to see real information on how many people have actually BOUGHT this new mandatory insurance. Last time I looked into it they were still keeping that under their proverbial hat. Wouldn't be surprised it was half... or even less.

Hmm.... (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 5 months ago | (#46717209)

Editor posts story from anonymous troll regurgitating punditry talking points (that were refuted last week BTW) and it headlines on Slashdot. Stats only lie if you misrepresent the context:

http://wonkette.com/545324/latest-awesome-fox-chart-unskews-obamacare-enrollment-thanks-fox [wonkette.com]

How the numbers were acheived (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 5 months ago | (#46717213)

1. A lot of late signups. - People waiting for the individual mandate being delayed.
2. Cancelled plans. Remember "if you like your plan, you can keep it" except you can't. All those people who lost their plan were insured are now uninsured and that greatly enlarged the number of people seeking. So you can't compare before and after numbers.
3. Some companies dropped plans entirely and let their employees get their own. My company was on the verge of doing that but elected not to at the last minute.
4. The combined numbers of 2 and 3 is estimated at 6 million. So backing that out, we only got aout 1 million more insured. Which is important, but not anything to brag about.
5. I'm not entirely convinced that the 7.1M number is actual people being insured. Maybe that many logins were created but a login is not insurance.

Is it a lie? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#46717229)

Is it a Lie? Well lets do an impromtu survey...

There's 313 million people in the US.
7 million signed up.
So that's 2% of the country.

I know exactly 0 people that have signed up for it, and I live in a poor neighborhood.
I visited the site myself and couldn't navigate it well enough to find coverage...

So... how many people do you know that have signed up? Any?

Given that they're signing up prison inmates... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#46717243)

I'm sure they do have that many people signed up.

How many of them actually paid to be on it and wanted to be on it?

I'm assuming somewhere between none and 5.

But they've given to a lot of people for free and forced a lot of people into it.

So they have that going for them.

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