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Measuring Obamacare and bogus projections

Sarah Kliff takes the lead today in the WP Wonkbook upon the departure of Ezra Klein. She writes that Obamacare is closer to making its projected target. That is interesting because the “projected target” moves to frequently that one never knows about which they are speaking. That is a symptom of the Obama style of ambiguous management.

Sarah Kliff keeps track of Obamacare

From a citizen’s perspective, President Obama and Congress said that the Affordable Care Law is intended to provide healthcare coverage for the uninsured. To this analyst, that means 100% of Americans will have healthcare coverage as that is the definition of success.

At one point while selling the need for the law, Democrats said that there were 50 million uninsured Americans. Lately, they and Congress used the number 37 million. That is a significant difference, so this analyst uses a percentage of the population insured as the metric instead.

So, when you see numbers like 3 million sign-ups and you compare that with 37-50 million needed, how do you call that anything approaching success?

No, it is not successful until 100% of Americans are covered.

“Don’t look now, but Obamacare might just hit a sign-up projection


January 24 at 12:33 pm

Welcome to Health Reform Watch, Sarah Kliff’s regular look at how the Affordable Care Act is changing the American health-care system — and being changed by it. You can reach Sarah with questions, comments and suggestions here. Check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon for the latest edition or sign up here to receive it straight from your inbox. Read previous columns here.

Three million people have signed up for private insurance coverage through the health law marketplaces, according to Health and Human Services. That still leaves the Obama administration lagging behind its initial projections for overall health law enrollment--but also closer to hitting monthly sign-up expectations it set back in September.

Health and Human Services says that at least 800,000 people signed up for coverage through this week. So this new figure shouldn't be seen as representing overall January enrollment--that number will likely inch up a bit, when the Obama administration releases a monthly enrollment report in February. Back in September, the Obama administration had projected 1.1 million people would sign-up in the first month of 2014--and these new figures suggest that enrollment could easily hit that number.

Since the federal government implemented significant fixes to on Dec. 1, monthly enrollment totals have inched significantly closer to the targets. Instead of netting a quarter or third of the expected sign-ups, as the administration did in October and November, now the numbers are coming in much more in range of expectations.

That, at least, is one way to look at the data. Another is to look at cumulative health law enrollment, where the Obama administration does continue to fall behind projections, largely due to the dismal sign-up numbers last fall. Health and Human Services had expected that 4.3 million people would have signed up by the end of January. So the administration is running about 1.3 million behind that projection, although with one week left in the month some of that gap is likely to close.”

Read the rest.

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