Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and her subordinates continue to sit on the hot seat in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee concerning the failed launch of Healthcare.gov. That’s the least of problems facing the Affordable Care Act.
While the Oversight Committee is busy grilling HHS, numbers from enrollments into the program is starting to trickle in and it doesn’t look good for goals established by this administration, especially in the Lone Star Sate.
Texas so far has ‘the second-highest number of people’ enrolled into the program. As of the end of November, the state has reportedly enrolled 14,000. This is bit unusual since the state has the largest percentage of residents without any form of insurance coverage. Texas also have a high percentage of those living in poverty.
If 14,000 enrollees are the second highest in the country, the projected number of 7 million enrollees by the administration will be off by a lot and that should not all be attributed to the website’s problems. The lack of means to afford health care will have a profound effect on low enrollments.
After the last recession, Texas has added many jobs, attracted many new businesses and actively promotes a strong economic growth, but it’s poverty level is among the highest in the country. It’s median income level remains below 2000‘s level and as such, those at, or slightly below the median income level will qualify for subsidies and the others won’t.
The state has also opted to not participate in any way, shape, form or fashion with the expansion of Medicaid and that within itself is cause for alarm over the number of enrollees the state produces. In order to reach that 7 million enrollees mark, the country needs to produce at least 140,000 enrollees from each state. So far, states on average has only produced about 7300 and that’s not good at all.
Since the website’s problems appear to be resolved, enrollment is on the increase, but nowhere close to where it should be. If Texas is second to Florida in enrollments, overall enrollment will not meet the anticipated numbers projected by the administration and it will not be attributed to a failed website, but rather economic conditions around the country.