Obamacare Final Enrollment Number: 7.3 Million

Which has Politico’s Jennifer Haberkorn jumping up and down while clapping her hands like a giddy schoolgirl in a 1960’s sitcom

7.3 million in Obamacare plans, beats CBO forecast

The administration’s announcement that 7.3 million people are now enrolled in health insurance plans on the Obamacare exchanges immediately ignited a new round of arguments about the success or failure of the health law.

The figure — which is the number who had signed up and paid as of mid-August — is a drop from the 8 million who had chosen plans but not necessarily paid by mid-April. But it’s much higher than the 6 million that the Congressional Budget Office forecast would be covered this year, a number that seemed unattainable when the botched launch of HealthCare.gov slowed signup to a crawl last October.

Of course, not mentioned is that the CBO’s original forecast was for 7 million signups. This still means that the number was beaten, but 1.3 million more has more impact in making Ocare look super wonderful than .3 million.

The figure is complex to unravel. The number came from the health insurers, who told the Obama administration every month how many people are covered by Affordable Care Act plans. A CMS official said Thursday that in prior monthly reports, the numbers varied widely, but recently stabilized.

It includes some of the 8 million who signed up in the regular season, minus those who didn’t pay or dropped out for some reason, such as deciding that they didn’t like the coverage or getting a new job with insurance. It also includes those who signed up in the “special enrollment” period because of changes in their job or family situation that affected their insurance coverage.

Interestingly

[Medicare Chief Marylin] Tavenner refused to break down the figures and other CMS officials said they couldn’t do so, either.

Sounds familiar. Team Obama trots out a number, but cannot back it up with actual figures.

The CBO is forecasting 13 million for this signup period. It will be interesting to see how high the premiums and deductibles go, as well as what effect there might be on corporate insurance policies, as in, how many keep them and how many dump them.

Of course, wasn’t the whole point of this venture to make sure that the 30-45 million without health insurance purchased insurance? And, if your deductible is an average of $5081, do you really have insurance, when you cannot afford to pay?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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