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Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Whoops! Half of Georgia’s Insurance Enrollees Haven’t Paid Yet.



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From the first Morning Jolt of the week:

Whoops: Half of Georgia’s Insurance Enrollees Haven’t Paid Yet.

This seems rather important:

Georgia insurers received more than 220,000 applications for health coverage in the Affordable Care Act’s exchange as of the official federal deadline of March 31, state officials said Wednesday.

Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, though, said premiums have been received for only 107,581 of those policies, which cover 149,465 people.

“Many Georgians completed the application process by the deadline, but have yet to pay for the coverage,” Hudgens said in a statement Wednesday.

Half? Half? Sure, the nonpayment rates will be a lot lower in other places. But this indicates how much skepticism is warranted for the administration’s much-touted enrollment figures.

When progressives insist that we’re wrong and Obamacare is more popular than it seems, they’ll point to the enrollment numbers. They dismiss the national surveys, but there’s some indication that Obamacare’s meager support in the polls is actually worse than we think, because it’s being artificially boosted by respondents who are eager to declare the whole thing a success, no matter how their state exchange is actually performing.

A couple of lessons from this bit of polling research by Jonathan Easley at the Morning Consult: Healthcare.gov is uniquely and perhaps disproportionately disliked by survey respondents, and some people just tell pollsters what they want to be true, not what is actually true:

In a testament to how political affiliation potentially colors an individual’s view of the law, Morning Consult polling from November through April found that people reported more positive experiences in states with largely broken exchanges versus people who used the federal exchanges. And that includes states where the exchanges never were fully operational . . . 

We separated states into three different groups to do this analysis. The “broken” state exchange group included Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon and Vermont. (While it is an inexact measurement, we put states where healthcare officials struggled throughout the enrollment period to fully launch their exchanges into the “broken” category.) The second group of states — those with relatively well running exchanges — included Washington, Rhode Island, New York, Kentucky, Colorado, Connecticut, California and the District of Columbia. All other states where included in our third group, as they used the federal exchange website to enroll customers.

Among these groups, you might expect the states with barely (or not-at-all) functioning exchanges to rank last when it comes to users’ experiences. But the federal exchanges took that spot in almost every measure. The poll has a margin of error of two percentage points, and approximately 2,000 interviews were conducted in each poll from November through April.

The analysis notes, “In the 2012 election, President Obama won all of our “broken” exchange states. That perhaps explains the rosier view voters in those states have of the law, even though the exchanges in many cases barely worked.” In other words, there’s a strong possibility some Obama voters declared their state health-insurance exchanges to be success even when they personally experienced its failure.


Tags: Obamacare , Georgia , State Exchanges


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