The Obama Administration’s strategy to flood the health care exchanges with healthy Americans has backfired.
According to a report* recently released by Gallup, 5% of Americans are newly insured under the terms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA.)
Of that 5%, 2.8% of the newly insured were enrolled via the health care exchanges. Although experts (and the media) are split as to whether this means the PPACA is successful or disastrous policy, the polling data has revealed that of those newly enrolled, the majority of them are young, and less healthy than the average American.
One catalyst for the individual healthcare mandate was to bring healthy people who otherwise chose not to have health insurance into the healthcare system using the exchanges. However, as was the case in the previous sample, the newly insured using exchanges in the April-June reporting period are less likely than those in the general population to report being in “very good” or “excellent” health. Thirty-eight percent of those using an exchange for their new policies reported being in very good or excellent health, compared with 50% of the general population.
Overall, the number of uninsured Americans has dropped; ostensibly, this means that more Americans will be able to receive the health care they couldn’t previously afford.
However, with more sick people flooding the system, we don’t yet know how this will affect the ability of all Americans to actually receive the care they’re paying to have access to. The success of the PPACA depends in part on the premium payments of healthy people who aren’t taking advantage of their coverage.
Additionally, 13% of Americans remain uninsured. Gallup’s data suggests that the long term success of the PPACA depends on the ability of the federal government to alter their outreach strategy to convince that 13% to enroll and start paying their premiums.
Considering the fact that only 67% of enrollees have paid their premiums (as of April 15,) it looks like the future of health care in America hinges on the willingness of healthy Americans to purchase–and then ignore–expensive insurance policies they never knew they needed.
*Data based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews with more than 31,000 adults conducted between April 15 and June 17.DONATE
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