Democrats think they know how to run the insurance industry better than the insurance industry, and they're getting the chance to prove it under ObamaCare. Consider the early returns on its plan to insure Americans denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.Agreed. As Ed Morrissey summarizes: "HHS falls short of pre-existing coverage prediction by . . . 97.8%"
To judge by President Obama's rhetoric, the insurance industry's victims have been wandering the country like Okies in "The Grapes of Wrath." Thus ObamaCare gave the Health and Human Services Department the power to design and sell its own insurance policies. The $5 billion program started in July and runs through 2014, when ObamaCare's broader regulations kick in.
Mr. Obama declared at the time that "uninsured Americans who've been locked out of the insurance market because of a pre-existing condition will now be able to enroll in a new national insurance pool where they'll finally be able to purchase quality, affordable health care--some for the very first time in their lives."
So far that statement accurately describes a single person in North Dakota. Literally, one person has signed up out of 647,000 state residents. Four people have enrolled in West Virginia. Things are better in Minnesota, where Mr. Obama has rescued 15 out of 5.2 million, and also in Indiana--63 people there. HHS did best among the 24.7 million Texans. Thanks to ObamaCare, 393 of them are now insured.
States had the option of designing their own pre-existing condition insurance with federal dollars in lieu of the HHS plan, and 27 chose to do so. But they haven't had much more success. Combined federal-state enrollment is merely 8,011 nationwide as of November 1, according to HHS.
This isn't what HHS promised in July, when it estimated it would be insuring 375,000 people by now, and as many as 400,000 more every year. . .
The government didn't need to annex a sixth of the economy and create a multitrillion-dollar entitlement to help 8,011 people.
(via readers Doug J., Warren)