Video: More Obamacare Enrollees Signing Up for Medicaid Than Private Insurance
Emily Hulsey | On 25, Oct 2013
Since the launch of the Obamacare exchanges nearly a month ago, one of the main defenses from the Obama administration has been that while the website may not work, the idea behind it does. However, data on those who have managed to enroll has proven otherwise.
CBS analyst Jan Crawford reports that of the people who have signed up for insurance through the Obamacare exchanges, the majority have enrolled in Medicaid rather than private health insurance. The number of Medicaid versus private insurance are incredibly disproportionate:
CBS News has confirmed that in Washington, of the more than 35,000 people newly enrolled, 87 percent signed up for Medicaid. In Kentucky, out of 26,000 new enrollments, 82 percent are in Medicaid. And in New York, of 37,000 enrollments, Medicaid accounts for 64 percent. And there are similar stories across the country in nearly half of the states that run their own exchanges.
As we’ve discussed before, Obamacare’s success is hinged on a large number of healthy young people ordering private insurance from the exchanges. Those customers are needed to pay for the those customers who will have higher medical costs, such as the sick or elderly.
“Either the private insurance enrollments come up somewhere around the expected amount or there’s going to be a problem. … You need a volume and you need a mix of people that are healthy as well as high users in private insurance, in order to have it be sustainable,” she said.
What we have instead is, essentially, an expansion of Medicaid, as well as a drastic shortage of the customer group on which Obamacare depended. If this pattern continues, it is bad news for not only the federal deficit but also the insurance industry, who will be up a creek without a paddle when it comes to paying the medical expenses of their aging customers.
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