Thursday, May 21, 2015

Catch Up Obamacare Schadenfreude

A few items of Obamacare Schadenfreude to thin the herd.

Because it was so well thought out to begin with: Hawaii Obamacare Enrolls ZERO People During Special Enrollment Period
The numbers are in: Hawaii’s Obamacare Exchange enrolled a grand total of ZERO — yes, zero people during its special enrollment period.

The Obama administration had implemented the special enrollment period from March 15 - April 30 to assist individuals who were unaware they would face a tax penalty for not having “qualifying” health insurance. In all, less than 250,000 individuals decided to enroll nationwide meaning that millions of Americans would rather pay the tax than enroll in Obamacare.

While Hawaii enrolled zero individuals and is the worst performing state, it is not alone. Vermont signed up only 97 households, while Rhode Island enrolled just 25 households.

Hawaii’s dismal performance should not be surprising. The website cost taxpayers $205 million but could only enroll 8,592 individuals in year one. Cost to taxpayers per enroll: $23,899.
. . .
Hawaii is not the first website to implode. Oregon’s $305 million exchange was officially abolished earlier this year at an additional cost and of $41 million. The exchange is currently under investigation by numerous federal organizations for how it wasted so much money.
Speaking of Oregon: Kitzhaber scrapped workable Oregon health exchange for political benefit
Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber was told in early 2014 that the Obamacare state health care exchange his administration spent $305 million building could be made operational. But his administration chose instead to scrap the project and seek a scapegoat to keep the fiasco from harming his re-election, according to evidence turned over to congressional investigators.

The materials, reviewed by The Washington Times, include emails and memos between state officials and campaign aides as well as a transcript of a conversation from a state official turned whistleblower that suggests federal tax dollars were sacrificed for political convenience.

The memos show Mr. Kitzhaber’s election campaign aides took the unusual step of instructing state officials on how to handle the Cover Oregon exchange project, especially when the project was abandoned just before its launch. The campaign aides even sought to supervise the testimony of a state official appearing before the U.S. Congress.

The memos suggest that the decision to scrap the project before it launched — creating a massive loss for federal taxpayers and inconvenience to thousands of customers — was driven more by politics than merit, according to the chairman of a House committee investigating the matter.
And ultimately it didn't matter because Kitzhaber was felled by a sex/business scandal involving his "first lady", to whom he wasn't married.

Skyrocketing Medicaid signups stir Obamacare fights
Medicaid enrollment under Obamacare is skyrocketing past expectations, giving some GOP governors who oppose the program’s expansion under the health law an “I told you so” moment.

More than 12 million people have signed up for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act since January 2014, and in some states that embraced that piece of the law, enrollment is hundreds of thousands beyond initial projections. Seven states have seen particularly big surges, with their overruns totaling nearly 1.4 million low-income adults.

The federal government is picking up 100 percent of the expansion costs through 2016, and then will gradually cut back to 90 percent. But some conservatives say the costs that will fall on the states are just too big a burden, and they see vindication in the signup numbers, proof that costs will be more than projected as they have warned all along.
I would like it better if we didn't get to say "I told you so."

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