The Daily Mail’s Thursday scoop revealed that just 51,000 Americans successfully enrolled in the federal Obamacare exchanges over its first week — an infinitesimally tiny percentage of the “46 million” uninsured Americans the law’s supporters frequently cite. But is the real number actually a fraction of that fraction? Oh my:
Based upon my survey of a large number of health plans accounting for substantial market share in the 36 states the federal insurance exchange is operating in, not more than about 5,000 individuals and families signed-up for health insurance in the 36 states run by the Obama administration through Monday. It is not uncommon for a major health insurer with a large market share to report less than 100 enrollments in the first week. Reports today say the enrollments continue to trickle in at about the same rate. Worse, the backroom connection between the insurance companies and the federal government is a disaster. Things are worse behind the curtain than in front of it. Here is one example from a carrier–and I have received numerous reports from many other carriers with exactly the same problem. One carrier exec told me that yesterday they got 7 transactions for 1 person – 4 enrollments and 3 cancelations.
In my post about this yesterday, I wondered how many of the supposed 51,000 enrollees were duplicates. The answer appears to be, most of them. John Sexton has a round-up of 50 average people posting complaints on Obamacare’s Facebook page, citing sundry enrollment snafus. This law is hurting people, including some folks for whom the law was practically designed. No wonder tech experts are discussing whether the Obamacare exchanges represent the highest-profile and most complete failure on a major web launch…ever. And the hits just keep on coming.
In the midst of major changes in health care, UnitedHealthCare has sent thousands of pink slips to Connecticut doctors. Termination letters went to physicians caring for Medicare patients. Those letters were sent out to doctors caring for ‘Medicare Advantage’ patients. It’s a plan, marketed to Seniors to provide additional services through UnitedHealthCare. A mix of primary care and specialty doctors are affected by it. And it comes at a questionable time. Open enrollment for Medicare starts next Tuesday, and it’s still not clear at this time as to which doctors are still in the United network. The Connecticut State Medical Society is fighting back. The biggest concern is patient access to healthcare.
Also, be sure to read CEO Andrew Puzder’s take-down of the administration’s easily falsifiable claim that the healthcare law isn’t affecting businesses’ hiring and personnel decisions:
There are times when the Obama administration makes statements so disconnected from economic reality that you wonder if any White House official has talked with anyone in business. A case in point: the administration’s mantra that ObamaCare’s definition of full-time employment as 30 or more hours per week had no effect on employers’ hiring practices…As the CEO of a company that has been dealing with ObamaCare for over three years, I’d like to set the record straight: The evidence that ObamaCare is having a negative impact on hiring is unequivocal, abundant and consistent with common sense.
Read the whole thing.