Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited Detroit today to encourage Michiganders to enroll in Obamacare before the March 31 deadline. It’s her second visit in three months to the bankrupt city that has been a bastion for liberal policies.
According to The Detroit Free Press, Sebelius, at an event with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, addressed consumer concerns that applications for the state’s expanded Medicaid program weren’t ready and state software can’t handle the new program. “State officials have repeatedly said the software is complicated and will take some time to set up,” Robin Erb writes.
Sebelius’ visit comes two days after HHS reported that 2.2 million Americans have enrolled in health plans through Obamacare’s federal and state-run exchanges.
The Heritage Foundation and other critics were quick to point to the report’s finding that only 24 percent of young adults (aged 18 to 34) enrolled in Obamacare, as the Detroit News noted. The administration for months has said Obamacare would need at 38 percent of enrollees to be young adults to make the program financially sustainable.
If too few young adults sign up and insurers are left with an older, sicker customer base, many could pass on hefty premium increases, exit the market entirely, or look to Washington for a potential bailout.
While the White House is claiming success with its latest enrollment numbers, the National Journal says it is abandoning its early young-adult enrollment goal. “Once again, administration officials are lowering their own standards for success—ditching targets they set or embraced, and redefining success that’s good enough to avoid a total collapse,” Sam Baker writes in National Journal.
Changing goals midway through the initial enrollment period for this year follows Obamacare’s other missed deadlines, problems, and hang-ups. Heritage President Sen. Jim DeMint—who said last year at CPAC that “Detroit is a showcase for the liberal agenda”—forecasted that a potential implosion of Obamacare could mean a further indictment on progressivism.
Big government becomes a trough for the well-connected only, while dependence on government assistance dissolves the fissures of civil society. But progressivism fails especially because, as we have seen with Obama, “the best and the brightest” set up to govern us are theorists removed from reality who don’t know that “insurance is complicated to buy” before they set out to overhaul it for a country of 310 million.