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Can A Cure Be Found For Obamacare Brain Meltdown Syndrome? Putting The Lie To The Anti-ACA Talking Heads

Jan 4 2014, 10:46am CST | by

Can A Cure Be Found For Obamacare Brain Meltdown Syndrome? Putting The Lie To The Anti-ACA Talking Heads
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

As we launch into 2014, I must regrettably report that we have yet to develop a vaccine or cure that can assist those who have contracted the insidious Obamacare Brain Meltdown Syndrome (OBMS)–a tragic illness affecting roughly 50 percent of Americans who now lack all ability to review ACA data with any measure of balance and reason.

While we await the critically needed medical advances and discoveries that can bring relief to the afflicted—assuming such a program has not been ground into the dust as a result of sequestration cuts to medical research—we continue in the attempt to bring actual data to the attention of the long-suffering, in the hope that the rumors, half-truths and outright lies can be retired through the presentation of the facts.

One of the more pervasive rumors, half-truths and outright lies making the rounds these days is the meme that more people have lost their insurance as a result of Obamacare than have gained coverage thanks to healthcare reform.

As the story goes, some five million people have had their insurance cancelled because of the ACA while the numbers of those who have gained coverage currently stands somewhere around two million—and we don’t even know how many of those who have enlisted will actually bother to pay the first premium for their newly acquired insurance policy. Based on these numbers the math is simple—the law has hurt three million more than it has helped.

This line of reasoning makes for a terrific story as it is a tale both easy to understand and clear in its result.

The problem is, the story is clearly not true.

A report out this week from the Minority Staff of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce reveals that 99.8 percent of those who received an insurance cancellation can now either re-up their existing plans for another year, as a result of the changes made in recent weeks, or, alternatively, obtain a catastrophic coverage policy. As a result of these changes, the report finds that about 10,000 Americans —representing 0.2 percent of those who received cancellation notices—will actually find themselves without access to an affordable health insurance alternative.

That said, I recognize that the report was issued by the Democrats on the committee— making the study something less than the best possible authority for those suffering from OBMS. I also recognize that 10,000 people lacking the access they once had to affordable health care insurance are 10,000 people too many.

Accordingly, let’s just pretend that the Minority staff report never happened and that we are still working off the suggestion that five million people really have been left fully exposed as the metric that should be used for comparison.

With that as our comparison point, surely the argument suggesting that Obamacare has hurt more Americans than it has helped can be justified, yes?

Actually, no.

In fact, based on the hard data, we are now able to see that at least 9.4 million Americans have health insurance coverage as a result of Obamacare.

Let’s go to the numbers—

We know that approximately 2.1 million people have purchased a health insurance policy from either a health care exchange operated by the federal government or from one of the 14 state operated exchanges. Indeed, even the harshest ACA critics appear to have accepted this number—although they insist on noting that, somehow, many of these people went to the trouble of buying a policy but will refuse to pay the first premium by January 10th, as required.

(Continue reading)

While I don’t doubt that there will be a few purchasers who will fall into this category, it would require the most extreme case of Obamacare Brain Meltdown Syndrome to imagine that the number of those who went to the bother of signing up—but won’t pay up—will be statistically significant./>

Next, I remind you that, as of November 30, 2013, 3.9 million new participants were enrolled in Medicaid as a result of the program’s expansion. These are 3.9 million who were not previously qualified. As reported by Michael Hiltzik over at the Los Angeles Times and Josh Marshallusing the data that has been compiled by Charles Gaba who has been carefully tracking the Obamacare math (I strongly recommend you review Mr. Gaba’s spreadsheet) since the beginning—the number of Medicaid sign-ups through the end of the year have now risen to a total of 4.3 million.

As you add up these numbers, you quickly arrive at 6.4 million Americans who now have insurance as a direct result of the ACA—a number, while in excess of the 5 million allegedly left without insurance coverage as a result of Obamacare, thereby disproving the meme—does not equal the 9.4 million Americans being served by Obamacare that I suggested earlier.

Clearly, this can only be the math of an Obama loving liberal, yes?

Or might you be missing something? Might that something be the roughly 3 million young Americans who have yet to reach 26 years of age who remain on their parents’ health insurance policy thanks to Obamacare?

Because this provision has been in effect for a few years, those afflicted with OBMS have managed to simply erase this number from their minds as if these young Americans either do not exist or simply do not “count”.

They very much do count as, prior to the ACA, these were precisely the people who were among the least likely to purchase a health insurance policy yet, thanks to the law, now have healthcare insurance. They are also the people who add the badly needed healthy participants to the insurance pools.

Add these people to the mix and you reach 9.4 million Americans with insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

What’s more, the number is probably higher given that that we are not taking into consideration those who are purchasing their individual Obamacare policies off the exchanges by going to their insurance agent or directly to their insurance company. These are the folks who are not qualified for subsidies and, therefore, have no reason to deal directly with the exchange if they choose not to do so.

None of this data, by the way, proves that Obamacare is necessarily working. As I have long noted, success is far more tied to the composition of the insurance pools resulting from the ACA (the ratio of healthy to unhealthy) than it is tied to the raw number of sign-ups.  This is data we do not yet have.

What this data does prove is that there are clearly far more Americans benefitting from Obamacare than those who are claimed to be losing coverage as a result of the law. The data also highlights that those with Obamacare Brain Meltdown Syndrome must fight through the fog that has descended upon them and try to face up to the actual numbers as, only then, can we continue a rational conversation about this law.

Until we find that cure for OBMS, we can only hope that those afflicted with this tragic illness will turn to that famous old saw that instructs, “then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

Contact Rick at thepolicypage@gmail.com and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Source: Forbes

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