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Never Mind About the Obamacare Premium

Obamacare Premiums

The report for January’s Obamacare enrollment are in and (drumroll please) the answer is: No one knows.

Or at least no one is telling.

The problem with compiling Obamacare enrollment numbers is that like almost everything else liberals do, Obamacare is built on good intentions, not actual production or achievement. So, the mere act of wanting insurance and intending to get insurance by using the Obamacare exchange website to submit information to an insurer is enough to get one counted as “enrolled” even if the “enrollee” never actually pays the premium to complete the transaction.

The Obama administration continues to say it cannot estimate how many people who have selected plans have actually paid a first month's premium since the payment system has not been built. 

John Sexton writing for Breitbart says experts and journalists who have spoken to insurers say the total percentage of “enrollees” who have not paid is around 20 percent. This means it's possible HHS is now double counting some people who were dropped after failing to meet a mid-January deadline but are now applying again.

So when HHS announced that a cumulative total of 3.3 million people have now signed up for private insurance through the Obamacare exchanges that figure includes hundreds of thousands of individuals who have failed to make their first premium payment.

Ed Henry, Fox News White House correspondent, reports that the Obama administration’s latest rosy scenario of about 3.3 million consumers signing up for health care plans is facing skepticism from top insurance industry officials, who estimate that somewhere in the range of 10 to 25 percent of those “enrollees” have not yet paid their premiums and are not fully enrolled. 

“The numbers are not as high as 3.3 million -- it’s lower,” one senior insurance industry source told Fox News. “Those numbers are inflated. The question is how much.”

Industry officials tell Fox that some insurance companies have privately reported up to 30 percent of enrollees have not paid up, while other companies believe a higher percentage of customers have taken care of their premiums. The senior insurance industry source suggested it averages out to roughly 10 to 25 percent of enrollees not yet paying into the system, and thus those individuals do not really have insurance.

But now for the kicker; rather than dig to try to find out exactly how many individuals have enrolled in Obamacare by paying their premium the establishment media is promoting the idea that Obamacare enrollment is growing.

“Obamacare beats a January enrollment projection” trumpeted The Washington Post.

“Healthy growth for Obamacare” was the laughable headline in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Liberals and their media allies are celebrating the fact that more than one million people signed up for the Affordable Care Act's new insurance plans in January, bringing the total so far to 3.3 million. 

But signing up doesn't mean that someone is a paying customer. Or as former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin put it in a recent Tweet: "Enrollment at 3.3 million. Those actually paying a premium probably closer to 3.3."

When Democrats in Congress passed the Affordable Care Act and Obama signed it they intended to help the poor and the uninsured, so never mind about whom, if anyone, is actually paying the premium. 

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