ObamaCare Exchanges: Goal-Post Shifting And Glitches

Goalpost2Just before the ObamaCare exchanges re-opened in November of last year, the Obama Administration predicted that about 9.1 million people would be enrolled in the exchanges through 2015. Last week the Administration announced that 11.4 million people had signed up via the exchanges, which makes it likely that the goal of 9.1 million enrolled will be reached.

“Signed up” and “enrolled” mean different things.  Someone who has signed up has not necessarily paid his first premium, while an enrolled individual has.  At the end of the first open enrollment period 8 million people had signed up, but by late 2014 only 6.7 million remained enrolled.

However, even if 9.1 million is reached, it misses the 12 million predicted by the Congressional Budget Office in January of this year.  That 12 million is a revision downward as this table shows:


A few thoughts:  First, CBO’s enrollment predictions for 2014 and 2015 continued to decline.  CBO got it about right for 2014. Will it do similarly for 2015?

Well, and second, that depends.  Right now it seems unlikely that more than 10 million will be enrolled by the end of 2015.  Unless, of course, there is a sudden uptick due to the “special enrollment period” the Obama Administration announced Friday that will run from March 15 to April 30.

Third, notice how far CBO predictions have fallen for 2014 and, to a lesser extent, 2015.  That makes it somewhat fun to speculate how much predictions for 2016 and 2017 will drop.  If enrollment for 2015 ends at about 10 million, then it has increased only about 3.3 million over 2014.  But, if we take CBO at face value, it will increase another 11 million in 2016 to reach 21 million.  Fat chance!  Expect that 2016 number to come way, way down in the ensuing months.


Oops!  Don’t start doing your taxes just yet:

The administration sent the wrong tax information to 800,000 people who have enrolled in ObamaCare, officials announced Friday.

The information used to calculate subsidies was wrong on about 20 percent of tax forms, an error that could delay tax refunds for thousands of people.

Administration officials stressed that the vast majority of HealthCare.gov customers received the correct forms, and White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the issue impacted “a very small fraction of people.”

One fifth is a small fraction?  One wonders if Earnest really believes the stuff he is shoveling.

Anyway, no need to worry.  The administration has recent experience with giving people more time to file their ObamaCare taxes.

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