Via The Weekly Standard:
But even if all or most of the 500,000 people who signed up for Obamacare by December 31 end up paying their bills, is that really a success? Leaving aside important questions about the quality and cost of Obamacare plans, the enrollment numbers are not impressive. The California exchange is doing very little to achieve the goal of insuring the uninsured.
Recall that California did not allow insurers the opportunity to re-offer plans canceled by Obamacare. Anne Gonzales of Covered California confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD in a phone call that all 900,000 non-grandfathered plans in California “had to be discontinued by January 1.” So how many of the 500,000 people who signed up for Obamacare before January 1 previously had insurance? “I don’t think we have those [numbers],” Gonzales said.
But it’s easy to infer that the majority of people who signed up for Obamacare already had insurance. “Of those 900,000 [who lost plans], 310,000 of those would have been subsidy eligible if they came to the exchange,” Gonzales said. Another 20,000 subsidy-eligible Californians lost plans because their insurance carriers were dropping out of the market.
Health care industry expert Bob Laszewski points out that that means at least 330,000 of the 500,000 people who signed up for Obamacare already had health insurance. “If you want to know how many uninsured bought it, subtract by at least” 330,000, Laszewski told THE WEEKLY STANDARD. “The only place they can get the subsidy is in the exchange. So if they’re going to replace their policy, unless they’re really stupid, they’re going to replace it in the exchange.”