Patterico's Pontifications

10/8/2013

Extrapolating the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers: Fewer Than 20,000 Enrollees Nationwide???

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:52 am

Jay Carney won’t tell you what the ObamaCare enrollment has been. It’s not because the numbers are embarrassingly low. Oh, goodness no! It’s because we release statistics monthly, and that’s what we do.

And by the way, here are the non-monthly statistics for visitors to the site: 8.6 million visitors in 72 hours! At least those aren’t embarrassing, huh?

“I’m glad you asked that question!” Ha!

So no, the White House won’t release the number of enrollees. But Maryland has, and they have had a stunning 326 enrollees.

The state of Maryland says it has thousands of people interested in buying health insurance on its new state-run exchange, but only 326 so far have actually enrolled in new coverage.

Golf clap.

Is it fair to extrapolate Maryland’s numbers to the country as a whole? After all, Maryland’s site (it runs its own exchange) has been plagued with technical problems. But so has the federal site. Maybe it is fair!

Let’s look at the numbers and see. Census.gov is down due to the government slowdown (of course), but Google tells us that Maryland has a population of 5,885,000. The U.S. population is 314 million, so Maryland has 1.87% of the U.S. population.

Maryland has seen 170,000 visitors to the site:

Those problems are reflected in the Maryland numbers released Monday, the first of what the state said would be regular data releases. The state said 13,532 accounts with verified identity were created as of Sunday evening, and it has seen 170,000 unique visitors to the website. But only 326 people were actually enrolled in new health-insurance plans.

Extapolating 170,000 to the country as a whole, that would mean the country as a whole would have seen about 9,000,000 visitors to various web sites. Turns out Carney’s numbers (the ones he is willing to release) say that there have been 8.6 million to healthcare.gov, it seems the extrapolation may be pretty close. Now, the feds are not running exchanges for all the states, by a longshot, so we could easily be off 50-100% here, but it’s good enough for government work!

So . . .

By my math (I majored in English and music, so beware!), if Maryland has 326 enrollees, that’s about the same as 17,394 in the country as whole.

In other words, based on the best numbers we have available, there have likely been fewer than 20,000 enrollees in ObamaCare so far — in the entire country.

Starting to get the idea why they don’t want to release the numbers?

93 Responses to “Extrapolating the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers: Fewer Than 20,000 Enrollees Nationwide???”

  1. Is there ANY evidence of any person successfully purchasing insurance through the federal exchange?

    JD (5c1832)

  2. They used a software architecture suitable for a high school’s website.

    And clearly this should not have been a surprise. I am sure the IT people told Obama’s political hacks that it wasn’t ready. They blew it off because they are smarter than everyone else.

    SPQR (768505)

  3. hey mister your obamacare stoled my kworter

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  4. So despite all the made in America hullaballoo, about spending money with our depressed economy ’cause of that laser-like focus they outsource the Federal ObamaneyCare website to Canada.

    Alright, that’s about as safe a country as we could want, but this is about jobs.

    Were they looking for experience with State run Healthcare or something?

    Great work, ChoomBaracka.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  5. math is hard (and raaaaacccist).

    Chris (eafa5f)

  6. My under grad major was Geophysics and I think your math is just fine.

    Bar Sinister (b48c12)

  7. Interesting analysis, but I’d rather press them for actual numbers than extrapolate my own.

    They have a pretty good idea of the numbers. They are lying. That’s the bigger issue.

    It’s because internet traffic is so high. It’s because of a youtube video. It’s because they prefer falsehood to the truth.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  8. Truth is painful, especially for today’s Democrats.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  9. I think another aspect of this debate being ignored are the millions who have no insurance, work in the underground economy and have used ERs as their doctor of choice. They will not sign up for ACA and will continue to use the ER. The problem is not solved, but now young people with real jobs will be on the hook for more of the health care costs.

    Daniel (b6a8c2)

  10. Gee, you’d think people would be lining up in droves to sign up for slavery!

    CrustyB (69f730)

  11. The more people learn about the expensive premiums & deductibles the less they want it! Obama lied at the beginning about everything it would contain & Congress took Pelosi’s empty-headed advice to vote it in & then read it. When they read it they wanted to drop it like a hot potato! And Obama let them, thereby, along with other changes he made unilaterally without the advice & consent of the Congress violated the Constitution & relenting on his oath to protect & defend it. This changed the law! So do we really even have a law?!

    David (b2429b)

  12. The alleged break even enrollment is 7 million at the end of 6 months (150 days).

    7,000,000 / 150 = 46,666 per day average

    20k is just under what is needed every 12 hours.

    Timothy (aa837f)

  13. Just thinking, 170000 unique’s doesn’t seem like a big number considering:

    The government is forcing people to use the service

    The Program has had 5 years of publicity and government propaganda

    They’re using all forms of media advertising (including TV, Newspaper, social networks and website) to promote this nonsense..

    They had a full staff of media technical and advertising experts who spent years designing the perfect website

    Given all the advantages the State of Maryland has over our host here, you’d think they’d have 100 times the unique’s of a site like Patterico.com but you wouldn’t be close.. I don’t know the numbers, Patterico may not have pulled 170,000 in a week, but he pulled a healthy percentage of that number, considering he’s just a blogger

    Grumpy (edd5c5)

  14. The arithmetic is fine. That the sites will continue to perform so abysmally is not a certainty, however. It’s entirely possible that they will become worse. Usually, “fixes” mean doing things in ways that are slower and call for more checking.

    htom (412a17)

  15. A subject I have not seen discussed, but which experience tells me will become an issue, is how many people will sign up but cancel later.

    Our company pays a portion of the premium for healthcare for our Employees. Each year at open enrollment we encourage our employees to sign up, which in most cases results in a payroll deduction for their share of the premium. As the year progresses a significant number of employees cancel their coverage due to the amount they pay. Normally a payroll deduction is the best and easiest way to make a payment, as what you never get is seldom missed. In spite of this feature, some cancel their coverage to increase their take home.

    When these people signing up on the health exchanges actually have to write a check each month, there will be major defaults on the payment due. I could easily see a 30% to 50% default rate, based on what we experience in our company.

    As a small California employer, we are struggling to stay below 50 employees, a number which when exceeded brings a whole new level of govenmental compliance and reporting, especially in California.

    I can’t tell you how this limits our ability to grow, not to mention the effect on my brother and my own attitude toward growing our business.

    Growth would be very good for our long term employees, giving them the chance to expand their managerial capabilities and salaries. Socialism is really regressive.

    Bill Strouss (ce84ed)

  16. 15. I can’t tell you how this limits our ability to grow, not to mention the effect on my brother and my own attitude toward growing our business.

    Comment by Bill Strouss (ce84ed) — 10/8/2013 @ 11:04 am

    Bingo!

    Just one of the intended consequences of Obamacare. It’s a protection racket for his cronies.

    I refuse it call it crony capitalism because rent-seeking, self-dealing, and protecting large donors isn’t capitalism.

    Steve57 (234b9e)

  17. You know what would be an interesting number to extrapolate? How many people have lost coverage through their or their spouse’s employer because of Obamacare.

    Has anybody anywhere kept track of all the announcements and projections because of employers that no longer will be providing health insurance?

    I’ll start.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/09/23/aca-family-glitch-issues/2804017/

    t could leave up to 500,000 children without coverage and cost some families thousands of dollars.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/08/obamas-hometown-government-proposes-dumping-400-part-timers-from-health-plan/

    In a press release from the Office of Cook County Board President, Democrat Toni Preckwinkle announced that she has proposed that all part time local government employees be removed from the county’s health plan or pay the entirety of it from their own funds starting July 1, 2014.

    Ok, that’s 500,400.

    Steve57 (234b9e)

  18. 12. 20k is just under what is needed every 12 hours.

    But they wouldn’t expect even enrollment. They’d expect the numbers to shoot up as the deadline grew nearer.

    sammy.finkelman (d22d64)

  19. http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/health-care/item/16571-home-depot-dumps-20-000-employees-onto-obamacare-exchanges

    Home Depot Dumps 20,000 Employees Onto ObamaCare Exchanges

    If up to 500,000 children will lose coverage because employers will only cover their employee, that means in most cases one of their parents will lose theirs as well.

    Let’s lowball it and say some of them are in single parent homes, and the rest all live in five person families.

    That’s about 150,000 spouses.

    So now we’re up to 670,400 people who lost coverage due to Obamacare. And that’s just from three sources.

    Steve57 (234b9e)

  20. 18. But they wouldn’t expect even enrollment. They’d expect the numbers to shoot up as the deadline grew nearer.

    Comment by sammy.finkelman (d22d64) — 10/8/2013 @ 11:43 am

    That’s not what they said, sammy.

    That may be their story now, or next week, but it wasn’t what they were saying.

    Steve57 (234b9e)

  21. Comment by Steve57 (234b9e) — 10/8/2013 @ 11:57 am

    That may be their story now, or next week, but it wasn’t what they were saying.

    It was also their story in the beginning, but the Obama Administration, or maybe the media, decided to tout the number of visitors to the websites.

    I don’t know why nobody is mentioning that the high number of people who tried to log in is probably attributable to Ted Cruz.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  22. Comment by Bill Strouss (ce84ed) — 10/8/2013 @ 11:04 am

    When these people signing up on the health exchanges actually have to write a check each month, there will be major defaults on the payment due. I could easily see a 30% to 50% default rate, based on what we experience in our company.

    I read something about that. The federal government will cover the first month of non-payment. The second and third month will be swallowed by the insurance company. That is to encourage them to dun people for the money.

    Only after 3 months will be the policy be cancelled.

    People will not be able to cancel and re-enroll because they will only be able to enroll in a limited enrollment period (which is longer the first year) unless they have a “life-event” like losing their job or moving. Or marriage, divorce birth of a child and some others.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  23. As a small California employer, we are struggling to stay below 50 employees,

    It’s a complicated calculation of average employees over the year and has nothing to do with the current number of full time employees.

    When the business mandate was postponed, statistics for calendar year 2013 became irrelevant. You can hire anybody you want right now without it making a difference.

    The value of keeping payroll down will be in 2014. That will effect the calendar year 2015.

    Payroll will probably BASED ON WHEN PEOPLE ARE PAID, NOT WHEN THEY WORK so pay your end of year employees before midnight Tuesday, December 31, if you don’t want them included in the calculation..

    Date and mail the check or make the direct deposit (or authorize it?) It’s whatever date you use for the W-2 forms)

    It will only matter if you are somewhere near the borderline.

    I can’t tell you how this limits our ability to grow, not to mention the effect on my brother and my own attitude toward growing our business.

    You have to find out the details.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  24. The President just gave a speech which I would have expected from a socio-path on the witness stand.

    Among the most awful speeches I have ever heard. Both flat out lies, spurious distortions and an appeal to the worst parts of human nature.

    He is not fit for the Presidency. May the hand of the almighty God strike him down for I fear Joe Biden is more honest and reasoned.

    Rodney King's Spirit (5afc40)

  25. The news here in NZ stated a week ago that “millions” of people had signed up.

    I’m still trying to work out whether he was using bad data or just making s##t up.

    scrubone (e7e0ea)

  26. I think the word enrollees is being used two different ways:

    1) People who created an account, and

    2) People who actually signed up to buy insurance.

    Maryland had 170,000 unique visitors and 13,532 (just under 8%) accounts as of Sunday and 326 of those 13,532 people (2.4%) were actually enrolled in any health-insurance plans. (0.19% of all unique visitors, many of whom may be from out of state and some of whom may be the same person using different computers)

    There’s a lot of curiosity. Very few people who, so to speak, pulled the trigger.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  27. The NZ news is confusing people who signed up, with attempts to view the website.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  28. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/us/politics/obama-calls-boehner-as-gop-meeting-yields-no-offers.html?_r=0

    Complicating matters is a Republican contention that the Oct. 17 deadline for a debt ceiling increase is fluid at best, and possibly mythical

    Oh, they realized that?

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  29. Listening to lie after lie on Obumbler’s presser, what a preening, unbearably smug guy he is. Nothing impresses him more than himself.

    Colonel Haiku (89b580)

  30. It would be interesting to see comparable numbers of other government programs launched.

    If you take the daily average rate and multiply it by the number of days left, the numbers run in the low hundreds of thousands (assuming my math is correct) by March 15. Even adding a boost due to glitches and assuming different rates for the deadlines, the numbers are still abysmal (in the low millions when I assumed a 20% success rate due to glitches and double numbers between the December and March deadlines).

    This is anecdotal, but I was talking to a woman who told me she tried to sign up for a bronze plan and it would be $600 a month for her family of three and that includes a $5,000 deductible. I have no way of verifying that. She told me she is going to take the penalty and save the rest of the money. I don’t think she will be alone if her numbers are accurate.

    ratbeach (f5aad4)

  31. Comment by Timothy (aa837f) — 10/8/2013 @ 9:43 am

    The numbers don’t look good for Dear Leader, do they? Can he blame Bush for this?

    I heard parts of the speech while in the car. Unreal how snotty he was!

    And Sammy, how in the heck is a company supposed to hire people for one year to grow their business and then fire them the next to comply with Obamacare? You’re just arguing for the sake of arguing.

    Patricia (be0117)

  32. Yesterday President Obama visited FEMA. (This was, presumably, to show some important federal function being hurt by the shutdown)

    From yesterday’s Morning Jolt – a list of bills passed by the House but ignored by Harry Reid:

    1. Authorizing military chaplains to do their duties during the shutdown;

    2.Continuing appropriations for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children for fiscal year 2014 (food stamps).

    3.Continuing appropriations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    4.Continuing appropriations for veterans benefits.

    5.Continuing appropriations for the National Institutes of Health.

    6.Continuing appropriations for National Park Service operations, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    7.Continuing appropriations of local funds of the District of Columbia

    Now all those bills got almost all Republicans and 20 or so House Democrats.

    The Democrats want Boehner to bring to the floor a different bill – a clean continuing resolution, that they say will get almost all the Democrats and another 25 or so House Republicans)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  33. Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 10/8/2013 @ 12:57 pm

    And Sammy, how in the heck is a company supposed to hire people for one year to grow their business and then fire them the next to comply with Obamacare? You’re just arguing for the sake of arguing

    They don’t need to worry right now.

    They could later contract out some work, or split the company and take on a partner for only one of the halves.

    It’s not complying with Obamacare by the way, but getting their employees a health insurance policy (that they may not like)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  34. Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 10/8/2013 @ 12:57 pm

    I heard parts of the speech while in the car. Unreal how snotty he was!

    This was probably a bit of desperation tpo affect polling.

    When and if his polling shows nothing is working, he will stop.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  35. 31. Indeed.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  36. A company, with more time, could look and see whether hiring or not hiring could make a difference.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  37. Rich Galen last week:

    He is on Medicare. By the way, that cancels all regular insurance.

    In 1965, the Medicare part B premium was $3.00 a month (often dedcucted from Social Security) which is about $21.20 in 2013 dollars. It paid for about half of Part B costs. It is now much hhigher and means tested and his Part B premium cost this year is 2013 is $335.70. A month. It is $4,028.40 for the year. That does not of course figure in the cost of Medigap insurance.

    Last week he tried pretend to sign up for ObamaCare in Virginia but (a) the website was overloaded and he at first ouldn’t get in; and, (b) when he finally could the system recognized he was already on Medicare it said (in effect) “thanks for playing, now get off so
    someone who really needs this can get on.”

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  38. “When and if his polling shows nothing is working, he will stop”

    Are you kidding, Sammy? He will never stop as long as there are cameras and a teleprompter. He loves to hear himself way too much. And as long as he thinks people love him, no way.

    PatAZ (7cc529)

  39. president poutypants and his national park stormtroopers can go suck a lemon I think

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  40. a big lemon penis

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  41. an argument that Obamacare helps small business (in the New Yorker)

    http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2013/10/14/131014ta_talk_surowiecki

    The argument is based mostly on the no-exclusuion for pre-existing conditions and community rating provisions in the law.

    Till now, is the argument, some people have been afraid to start small businesses because of fear of losing their health insurance. Theer’s actually a study that claims Obamacare could enable 1.5 million people to become self-employed. This is because it ends job lock.

    And it argues small businesses have been afraid or found it very costly to offer insurance. Right now small businesses pay more trhan big ones – it can 18% more – and they have “experience rating”: a business with a lot of women or older workers faces higher premiums.

    Worse, it’s a crapshoot. Even a single employee who runs up medical costs can be a disaster. John Arensmeyer, who heads the advocacy group Small Business Majority, said one of the companies he represents had its premiums skyrocket because one employee has a child with diabetes. So right now fewer than half the companies with under fifty employees insure their employees, and that half of uninsured workers work for small businesses or are self-employed. In fact, a full quarter of small-business owners are uninsured, too.

    Theer are tax credits in the new law – but that’s one reason to stay under 50!

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  42. “When and if his polling shows nothing is working, he will stop”

    Comment by PatAZ (7cc529) — 10/8/2013 @ 1:39 pm

    Are you kidding, Sammy? He will never stop as long as there are cameras and a teleprompter. He loves to hear himself way too much. And as long as he thinks people love him, no way.

    He backed down on a bunch of things, probably because of polling. He signed the military continuing resolution.

    He may love to hear himself talk, but he wants applause, not condemnation.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  43. Yeah, that about captures the high color.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100240464/president-obama-throws-a-tantrum-at-press-conference-compares-his-opponents-to-hostage-takers-and-deadbeats/

    Like if he turns blue and passes out the Lamestream will take this seriously and flay our chests open.

    I was in the doctor’s office Monday for a flu shot and picked up the local paper serving a metro area of some 150K.

    The front section had four pages, one piece folded. Maybe 3% of the population catches the evening news.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  44. a priori, shouldn’t those 17,394 people be prime candidates for BarryCare, specifically, the Mental Health Care portion of it….
    ’cause they’re NUTS!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  45. Every acronym passed around barracks or foxhole applies to BarryCare….
    FUBAR,
    SNAFU,
    (not an acronym) Clusterf(ar)ck!

    I’m sure there are a few more, but it’s been awhile since I was in either of those accommodations.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  46. 42. There is an audience of one that Choombaracka gives a rip about, and that, only on a tape delay.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  47. 44. Here’s someone looking at that query:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2536927

    We have reason to believe, that following a reasonable period, more people will be uninsured following the onset of ObamaneyCare than prior.

    Moreover, following Amnesty there will be more undocumented citizens than before.

    The trends are unsustainable, are they not?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  48. It’s generally a bad idea to take a non-random sampling and apply it to the overall population. The likelihood of error is huge.

    Tlaloc (d061fc)

  49. 45. Don’t forget the Obamacare helpline telephone number.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  50. 48. Indeed, whatever their sanity, those that have been successful to date are obviously more resourceful and adaptable than the general population.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  51. Indeed, whatever their sanity, those that have been successful to date are obviously more resourceful and adaptable than the general population,
    and probably were in the cohort that did not specifically need BarryCare, but find it useful.

    FTFY!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  52. It’s generally a bad idea to take a non-random sampling and apply it to the overall population. The likelihood of error is huge.

    It is also generally a bad idea to be a mendoucheous twatwaffle. Hasn’t stopped you.

    JD (8935bd)

  53. 51. And, while were on the subject:

    http://nypost.com/2013/10/08/us-adults-are-dumber-than-the-average-human/

    Yer parents cain’t read a lick.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  54. Sammy @41:

    Theer’s actually a study that claims Obamacare could enable 1.5 million people to become self-employed.

    Yes, but it’s not the one whatever apparatchik who wrote the article was making.

    When you get fired from your job and you join the long term unemployed eventually you’re going to have to do something to keep body and soul together.

    Welcome to America’s new underground cash economy!

    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2013/03/18/the-new-underground-economy

    Something fishy is going on in consumers’ wallets.

    Household spending has held up surprisingly well in recent months, even though new taxes have reduced paychecks and other problems are holding back the economy. Incomes haven’t risen by nearly enough to explain the entire boost in spending. Nor has the use of credit cards.

    When your teenager starts wearing expensive clothes and flashing bling he couldn’t possibly afford through his part-time job, you start to wonder where the money is coming from. Some economists are asking the same question about consumers who seem more flush than they ought to be. The answer may lie in the large “underground” economy that doesn’t show up in official statistics.

    …Economists now speculate that the underground economy may have swelled during the last few years, given all the people who can’t find full-time work at decent pay.

    Just so you know, Obamacare information will also be used for law enforcement and tax audit purposes.

    Obamacare has never been about delivering health care.

    Steve57 (234b9e)

  55. You always had to wonder about the 10-11% UE rate in SoCal when the traffic volume on the freeways had not appreciably diminished from pre-Lehman, to post-Lehman.
    Were all those people spending money they weren’t making, buying gas that went from $1.80/gl on Obama’s election day to $3.75/gl today, just driving around looking for work; or was something else afoot?

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  56. Welfare and unemployment doesn’t pay much, but when you combine it with self-employment in the Obamaconomy it can pay pretty good.

    Steve57 (234b9e)

  57. As the L.A.Fishwrap likes to call it:

    FUNEMPLOYMENT!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  58. 54. And that’s behind Ryan’s push for Amnesty, all those found taxpayers.

    Party of blinding stupidity.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  59. 59. Well, I guess there’s too much blinding stupidity for one Party to contain.

    I’m confident they can price their product to meet their need. I have no real grip on whether their customers will find it meets their own.

    But I’d hazard a ‘Not a freaking chance’. The article was as clear as mud. Cost to customer variously described as 2.75 X, earning a 20 basis point premium.

    Mumbo jumbo. They’re probably just trying to give Bennie cover to make direct payments.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  60. I just heard that there are now, officially, more excuses for glitches, rates and benefits than there are actually enrollees. Does that help?

    Jerry (bba5cf)

  61. Till now, is the argument, some people have been afraid to start small businesses because of fear of losing their health insurance. Theer’s actually a study that claims Obamacare could enable 1.5 million people to become self-employed. This is because it ends job lock.

    This is true, but McCain’s 2008 plan (which was almost identical to one I came up with about 25 years ago) would have had the same benefit, without all the harm that 0bamacare wreaks.

    Milhouse (3d0df0)

  62. It’s generally a bad idea to take a non-random sampling and apply it to the overall population. The likelihood of error is huge.

    What’s non-random about it? What factors affect MD and not other states? Specifically, what factors would depress rather than increase enrollment in MD?

    Milhouse (3d0df0)

  63. Milhouse – one of the fundamental differences is that it appears a handful of people in Maryland were actually able to sign up, which is orders of magnitude better than the federal exchange.

    JD (8935bd)

  64. Yes, that’s why I asked what factors would tend to depress enrollment in MD compared to other states? I can’t think of any.

    Milhouse (3d0df0)

  65. Same as the other day:

    We have a lot of visitors on the site right now.
    Please stay on this page.
    We’re working to make the experience better, and we don’t want you to lose your place in line. We’ll send you to the login page as soon as we can. Thanks for your patience!
    In a hurry? You might be able to apply faster at our Marketplace call center. Call 1-800-318-2596 to talk with one of our trained representatives about applying over the phone.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  66. Keep in mind that Obie was going to solve the recession and the energy shortage with smoke and mirrors just like you’re seeing with health care.

    Dirty Old Man (4bf1c0)

  67. Damn, I’m getting dizzy from all these pivots.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  68. Remember the entire premise is based on the mandate and the assumption that young, healthy, working people will choose to sign up and pay premiums to offset the benefits and subsidies paid to the poor, the old, the sick, etc.

    Without large numbers of suckers enrollees, there will be tidal wave of red ink in the system that cannot be ignored. Since the penalty for not enrolling in the first year is only $95, compared to a low-end premium of nearly $200 a month, there is little incentive for healthy young people to sign up right away.

    Oops.

    Which is why I said Cruz was doing Obama a favor, if we just let this turkey of a “plan” go forward without interference, it will blow up in Democrats’ faces.

    Estragon (19fa04)

  69. New York reports more than 40,000 people have signed up for coverage, California says 28,000 people have completed applications and Washington state reports more than 9,000 enrollments, according to this Washington Post article.

    Foo Bar (1c2194)

  70. Comment by Ag80 (eb6ffa) — 10/8/2013 @ 9:05 pm

    In a hurry? You might be able to apply faster at our Marketplace call center. Call 1-800-318-2596 to talk with one of our trained representatives about applying over the phone

    You know what 318-2596 spells out? F1…

    Sammy Finkelman (2b1acb)

  71. English and Music, eh? Performance or Education? I toyed with going for a BME but wanted to eat all seven days each week, so got an engineering degree, instead. But math and music are related, so there’s hope…

    NeoCon_1 (062f23)

  72. Human error in Florida:

    Orlando, Fla – A day after saying that anyone signing up for the Affordable Care Act had to provide their credit score, the lead Navigator admitted that she had been providing factually incorrect information to the public.
    ***
    Packham wouldn’t say how she came up with such a detailed – and completely wrong – explanation for the question about credit checks.

    Local 6 asked Packham, “People just want to know. You’ve been through training. You are educating people about the process. How does this happen?”

    “It’s human error,” Packham said.

    Get ready for a lot of human error.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  73. Packham wouldn’t say how she came up with such a detailed – and completely wrong – explanation for the question about credit checks.

    She didn’t have any idea of what she was talking about, and was just guessing, that’s how.

    Sammy Finkelman (bd89d5)

  74. SF: “There’s actually a study that claims Obamacare could enable 1.5 million people to become self-employed. This is because it ends job lock”

    Comment by Milhouse (3d0df0) — 10/8/2013 @ 7:52 pm

    This is true, but McCain’s 2008 plan (which was almost identical to one I came up with about 25 years ago) would have had the same benefit, without all the harm that 0bamacare wreaks.

    Right. By the way, is your plan written down anywherethat ai can look at?

    There were, and are, a whole bunch of ideas that were much better than Obamacare and Romneycare.

    I’ve had some thoughts, too.

    Sammy Finkelman (bd89d5)

  75. Packham wouldn’t say how she came up with such a detailed – and completely wrong – explanation for the question about credit checks.

    When she was first trying out the ObamaCare enrollment site, a pop-up window offering free credit checks opened up and she put one and one together. . .

    JVW (93c84b)

  76. She didn’t have any idea of what she was talking about, and was just guessing, that’s how.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (bd89d5) — 10/9/2013 @ 6:46 pm

    She’s just you in drag Spammy boy, she’s just you in drag!

    Yoda (ee1de0)

  77. This is true, but McCain’s 2008 plan (which was almost identical to one I came up with about 25 years ago) would have had the same benefit, without all the harm that 0bamacare wreaks.

    Right. By the way, is your plan written down anywherethat ai can look at?

    I posted it on Usenet, so it’s somewhere but I have no idea where. But it wasn’t that complicated. Basically it was:

    1. Make health insurance bought for oneself and ones dependents tax deductible.
    2. Make health insurance bought for ones employees not tax deductible.
    3. As a transitional measure legislate to automatically convert all existing group policies into individual policies for each of the covered people, and extend them for one year past their current expiration.

    The point is
    1. to discourage employers from buying insurance for their employees, and encourage them instead to give their employees the money to buy their own insurance
    2. to create a demand for individual policies, which the industry will have to meet
    3. to shock the insurance providers out of their complacency and make them change their business model from group policies to individual policies. Step 3 would create a huge installed base of individual policies that they would have to handle, and extending the terms by a year would force the insurers to learn how to handle them.

    Milhouse (20dddd)

  78. At about the same time I came up with a simple fix to the Social Security problem: Announce that as of two years from now, on each 1-Jan the eligibility age will go up by 3 months, forever. So if you’re planning to retire next year, you’re OK, but if you were planning to retire in two years you’ll have to wait 3 more months than you were planning. That’s not too great a burden. You have time to plan for it.

    If you’re planning to retire in three years, you’ll have to wait an extra 6 months. If you’re 10 years away from retirement, plan on working an extra 2.25 years. And if you’re 45 years from retirement, make that 56 years. Eventually the retirement age will be longer than people typically live, and no new people will enter the system; some time after that everyone in the system will die off, and it can finally be repealed without hurting anyone.

    In the meantime, end the pretense that the FICA tax goes into a separate kitty from the ordinary income tax, and that there’s an actual fund with actual investments. Acknowledge the reality that FICA is just another tax on income, the money goes into the general revenue and is spent, and the money for social security payments comes from general revenue. So abolish FICA and the so-called “trust fund”, and adjust the income tax rates to openly include the extra amount.

    Milhouse (20dddd)

  79. “By the way, is your plan written down anywherethat ai can look at?”

    Comment by Milhouse (20dddd) — 10/10/2013 @ 9:52 am

    I posted it on Usenet, so it’s somewhere but I have no idea where.

    That became dejanews, and the Google groups. I think everything that was there is still there, but the Google search engine almost neverm, if ever, shows anything from there.

    Google may be showing up in different ways on different computers. In the version without You Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail and More at the top, you get a menu by clicking on the dotted box at the top right. It’s under social in the full page menu page. Or just search for Google groups.

    If you give me a few key words, maybe I can find it. What name was it posted under? About what date? What group maybe could help.

    Oops it no longer even works under older browsers.
    No, it works, but they just don’t want you to use it.

    Sammy Finkelman (bec8ba)

  80. * dejanews and THEN Google Groups.

    The problem with individual policies is then you get the problem of pre-existing conditions.

    There is a way to do them. That is for insurance companies to estimate (based on a few simple criteria, like how much was spent the previoius two years) the most probable amount of health care spending for a person – it’s anything above it, you insure.

    Then charge an amount that would cover maybe average costs, and have taxes subsidize the certain part that is too high.

    Now to get an honest estimate of where the serious uncertainty about someone health care costs begins (you don’t want it too high) begins maybe two different companies, and some kind of auction of bundles of 100 or 1,000 policies need to be involved.

    What you also need is for the price the provider pays to matter.

    And you need a donut hole. The donut hole can be paid for by:

    1) advances against tax refunds – up to maybe $1,000 say.

    2) Regular borrowing from standard sources – mabe he person has credit cards or a house or life insurance

    3) Charges aginst future Social Security benefits (which may not happen, and there the government takes the loss)

    The out of pocket costs might be limited to say $30,000 a year maybe 3 times a life. The thing is to give people an incentive not to pay too much but not make it impossible to pay if more is needed.

    This is not even a beginning of a success unless doctors and medical instututions advertise their prices.

    Sammy Finkelman (bec8ba)

  81. Milhouse, another angle to a SocSec fix would be to change it over to the system that the Chicago-Boys set up for Chili under the Pinochet regime, where everyone OWNS their SocSec Acct, and can manage it’s investments (or not), and it is an asset in their estate.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  82. Damn….where did that apostrophe come from?

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  83. All user passwords on healthcare.gov (the federal government’s health exchange web site) have been reset. They probably changed the software. In the old software the username required a number but the person attempting to register wasn’t told about it. I suppose anyone attempting to use it should assume typical security features are there. They apparently have very bad initial security questions, derived from some commercial database, that wouldn’t be used by amajor company.

    The old software was probably written in javascript, and the programmers (probably based in India and hired by the Canadian company that is noted for having had problems with the gun registration it wrote for Canada) back in september had posted that part of the source code on a help site for – or was that only the case with Nevada health exchange?

    It may be the trouble they were having writing it caused the developer to tout open source:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/06/healthcaregov-code-developed-by-the-people-and-for-the-people-released-back-to-the-people/277295/

    Morning Jolt reports a poll shows that 7% of the peopulation says a member of their family – definition of member of family open – had tried to sign up on the health exchanges.

    A comment on Ace of Spades says what the website tries to do is a problem that has long been solved – many ways – they could have taken something off the shelf and slightly modified it.

    At one point they did want real time IRS information, but that was taken off the table for now.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  84. They apparently have very bad initial security questions, derived from some commercial database, that wouldn’t be used by amajor company.

    Why do people do that? My credit union has security questions like ‘what year is your car’ and ‘what year did you graduate from high school’ and ‘what is your favorite sports team’. It would be trivially easy for someone to answer those questions by looking at most folks’ facebook pages.

    That Obamacare is using rinky dink security is not a surprise. This entire program is based on apathy to the individual’s wishes. Like Romney said, when the government imposes a tax penalty to force people who are better off without high premium insurance into the program, that revenue supports the government’s interest in cheap insurance for others (like, say a drug addict or a couch potato). This thing was rotten from the time the seed was planted in 2006.

    Dustin (303dca)

  85. Your estimate was very good, Patterico. It was based on midweek numbers and is about half what the Daily Mail claims (in an exclusive) are the final weekly numbers: Week One applications = 51,000.

    Obamacare’s main signup engine attracted just 6,200 new customers on its launch day and 51,000 after the first week.

    At the same rate, the 6-month open enrollment period would sign up just 2 million Americans, including 14 states and D.C., which have their own insurance exchanges.

    The Congressional Budget Office says Obamacare needs at least 7 million customers to stay afloat financially.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  86. I don’t know how I would have estimated the number of people signing up for ObamaCare, but I didn’t expect it would be too many until the employer mandate kicked in and all of the perverse incentives came into play.

    Too many young healthy people who don’t have insurance aren’t even thinking about it, some of those who do are thinking they will pay the fine tax unless they develop a need for insurance, at which point they will buy it. The punitive nature of the tax really will not be a big effect for a few years, as I understand it.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  87. They wrote the website so that you’d have to log on in order to browse, because they wanted people to see the prices after the subsidy because they thought people would be scared by the prices.

    There was also supposed to be a way to browse without logging on, but that was secondary, and option wasn’t ready by the time the site went live.

    The need to resgister, log on and get verified before browsing, which is all that most people wanted to do, created a software bottleneck.

    (from today’s Wall Street Journal)

    Most state exchanges may be like that too, but the one for the state of Washington wasn’t.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  88. carrying as much water as you do all the time must get exhausting…

    how do you manage it, Sammy?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  89. That was a defense of the website?

    I don’t think that’s right to try to prevent browsing. here could also have been a separate page where you could input numbers and estimate the true cost after the subsidy.

    Subsidies (orr tax credits) anyway are only for silver plans, and they carry tghe price down to the second lowest silver plan for someone with the highest subsidy.

    The people who designed the website were really really scared people won’t sign up. That was the message.

    Sammy Finkelman (bec8ba)

  90. Yes, how dare those people not buy this perfectly fine plate of excrement that we’ve presented to them –
    it’s not like we’re going to fine/tax/or otherwise penalize them if they don’t.

    askeptic (b8ab92)


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