Industry Jitters: Obamacare Not Enrolling Enough Uninsured
Marguerite Bowling /Obamacare isn’t enrolling enough uninsured Americans, according to an early industry report’s findings that were highlighted today by Mark Bertolini, CEO for the health insurance giant Aetna.
Speaking with CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Bertolini said, “We see only 11 percent of the population [enrolled in Obamacare’s state or federal-run exchanges] is actually people that were firmly uninsured that are now insured. So [it] didn’t really eat into the uninsured population.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, a McKinsey & Co. survey of consumers reported that only 11 percent who bought coverage under Obamacare were previously uninsured, while at least two-thirds had previously bought their own coverage or had employer-sponsored health plans.
The report puts further scrutiny on Obamacare’s potential impact for the 48 million uninsured Americans (as of 2012). The Obama administration, which continues to promote the 2010 health law as covering many chronically uninsured Americans, has said more than 2.2 million Americans have enrolled in the health plans under Obamacare’s exchanges.
If the McKinsey report estimates are accurate, roughly 242,000 to 770,000 uninsured Americans have gained health coverage, writes Atlanta-Journal Constitution columnist Kyle Wingfield. “Good for those people, assuming they think the new coverage is actually worthwhile,” he writes, adding, “But that’s hardly the kind of success that justifies such a massive (additional) intrusion by the government into the marketplace.”
The most recent report from the Congressional Budget Office forecasted that by 2023, there would still be 31 million uninsured Americans under Obamacare. Only 14 million uninsured Americans were expected to obtain insurance in 2014.
This post has been modified.