Allegedly there has been a great increase in the number of enrollments in the health exchanges. That, at least is the headline at Politico.com: “New Obamacare figures: 975,000 in December.”
But once again we have a case where good news covers really bad news.
Nearly 1 million people signed up for health insurance through the federal Obamacare exchanges between Dec. 1 and the Dec. 24 deadline for getting coverage by the start of the new year, according to figures released by the administration Sunday.
The 975,000 people who enrolled during that window bring the total number of federal sign-ups to more than 1.1 million since the rocky rollout of the government’s Healthcare.gov website on Oct. 1.
The Administration claimed that they would have seven million people enrolled by March 31. So they need for the rate to now more than double for each remaining month. But that assumes that these numbers represent people who are actually insured. As the story admits in the last paragraph:
The enrollment tabulation represents the number of people who have completed the application and plan-selection process but does not make a distinction between those who have paid for insurance plans and those who have not. That, White House officials say, is a matter for the insurance companies.
So as far as we know, some percentage of these people are not insured at all.
Nothing in this news story indicates that Obamacare is no longer a failure. We were told that there were tens of millions of people who were uninsured. Now we have millions who have lost their insurance due to the Affordable Care Act. In that context, 1.1 million is a disaster.
Of course, this won’t keep the Administration and the compliant media from finding nice anecdotes to use as propaganda. The plan, Politico.com reports, is to try to distract from abysmal numbers by using personal stories.
If Democrats get their way, the next phase of the Obamacare wars will see something unusual: a flood of success stories.
The White House, Democratic lawmakers and advocacy organizations will launch a campaign this week to highlight real-life experiences under the Affordable Care Act — tales so compelling that they help drive up enrollment, marginalize Republican repeal efforts, and erase memories of this fall’s HealthCare.gov debacle.
That’s the thought, at least.
If Wednesday’s start of coverage for millions of Americans doesn’t go as planned — so far, little about Obamacare has — the airwaves will be dominated by stories of complications and dropped insurance, and President Barack Obama will once again have to explain what went wrong.
But Democrats still see this moment as their best chance yet to show voters why the embattled law is worth protecting by featuring accounts of people visiting the doctor for the first time in years, receiving treatment for a nagging ailment, or buying medication that they could never afford before.
Unless conservatives abandon the battle, there is no way that this propaganda ploy can work. For each “success story” there should be many failures to report, even fatalities. In general, all the people reeling from sticker shock will be an ongoing story.
So the only question is if Republicans and conservatives are going to be dedicated to defeating Obamacare. If they are, then they will win.