Obamacare Is Dead

On Friday, Dec. 20, 2012, Obamacare died. The president announced that if your health care plan was cancelled as a result of the requirements of Obamacare, you are relieved from having to obey the individual mandate to have health insurance. He also said that a simple catastrophic policy would suffice if you chose to get one and that he would make them available through the exchanges. (In other words, if your policy was cancelled because it was not sufficiently comprehensive, you can buy one even less comprehensive and that will be OK).

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But the big news, buried in his Friday afternoon press conference is the retreat from the individual mandate. Right now, the retreat only applies to individuals whose policies have been cancelled, but inevitably, next year, when cancellations of group plans cascade down on the system, these folks as well will be exempted from the individual mandate. Obama can’t exempt those with individual policies that were cancelled without exempting everyone who has been cancelled. It’s not tenable politically. Either he exempts everyone or he can’t exempt anyone.

So the goal of the tea party and the Republicans in shutting down the government in October — the end of the individual mandate or at least its suspension for a year — has been achieved! Victory is ours!

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The president trumpeted the fact that 500,000 people had enrolled through his exchanges in the first three weeks of December. But of those who enrolled through the end of November, two-thirds enrolled in Medicaid and only one-third in Obamacare. If that 2:1 ratio holds up, it will mean that there have been only135,000 new enrollees in Obamacare through the third week of December, bringing the total to a measly 500,000.

The administration had predicted that 2.2 million would sign up for Obamacare by Dec. 15. It missed the target by only about 80 percent! The fact is that nobody wants what Obama is selling and they are not buying it. With the relaxation of the individual mandate, the signups will become ever more sparse.

Obamacare is dying from a lack of interest among the very people it was supposed to help. A New York Times survey showed that 77 percent of those who are currently uninsured do not approve of Obamacare and have no intention of signing up. With the president in full retreat and the individual mandate eroding, the end of Obamacare is in sight!

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