Back in 2015 the CBO estimated 21 million Obamacare enrollees in 2016. They are now estimating 13 million will sign up this year. How many will actually sign up is not going to be known for another year or so, but I wouldn’t particularly bet on it being more than 21 million, and I wouldn’t particularly counsel against thinking that it’ll be less than 13 million.
Oh, the news gets better. The original claim that 11 million people signed up for Obamacare in 2015 has likewise been revised by this report, which now apparently reports 9.5 million. And here’s something that will really reassure folks worried about our deficits: the original assumption was that there would be 15 million subsidized plans and 6 million unsubsidized ones in 2015, or 71%/29%. The actual totals were 11 million subsidized, 2 million unsubsidized, or 85%/15%. Let me put it a different way: the Obama administration has managed to somehow simultaneously drastically miss their signup goals AND do so in a way where there won’t even a commensurate savings for taxpayers. I’d say that that would take skill, but really: it just takes rampant incompetence.
And let me drill down on this ‘rampant incompetence’ thing. Obamacare has been an utter policy disaster for the American people, and this is only slightly mitigated by the fact that it’s also been an utter political disaster for Democratic politicians. Everything about Obamacare has failed. It did not lower costs. It did not improve health care. It did not give Americans a heightened sense of health care security. In fact, it has done nothing but increase the aggregate amount of pain in America.
And as long as there is a single Democrat in position to stop us from repealing the stupid, stinking thing, it will persist and hurt more Americans. There can be no compromise on this: the remaining Democrats in office feel obligated to defend their vicious, dangerous, and downright reactionary stance on Obamacare. They do not dare admit wrongdoing, because if the Democrats admit to wrongdoing then they have no justification at all for their unconscionable deeds over the last seven years. I submit to you that we cannot afford the luxury of pretending that the Democrats will see reason or compromise on Obamacare any time soon.
If this sounds rather stark – well, it is. I’m not here to tell people what they want to hear; I’m here to tell people what I think that maybe they should hear. The difference is rather important, and not particularly subtle at all.