Last week, the Obama administration disclosed that only ten million individuals were expected to enroll in Obamacare in 2016. This is half of the 20 million that supporters promised would enroll when Obamacare was sold to the American people when the law was passed.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the number of enrollees would be 20 million Americans by the end of 2016. However, others were less optimistic. Charles Gaba, a statistics expert that accurately projected numbers for 2014 and 2015, predicted enrollees would be around 12.2 million in 2016. Obamacare has yet to reach even these numbers after more than $2 trillion in subsidies.
These lower than promised enrollment numbers come even as the tax penalty for not buying Obamacare is set to increase in 2016. It seems a large group of consumers would rather pay the penalty than buy Obamacare, even as the penalty more than doubles:
“The minimum penalty for this year is 2 percent of household income above about $10,000 or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, whichever is higher. For next year, the fine rises to 2.5 percent of household income above $10,000 or $695 per adult plus $347.50 per child.”
From this year forward, persuading Americans without health insurance will prove harder than ever. Writing for The Huffington Post, Jeffrey Young states “Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell acknowledged last month that those uninsured most eager to enroll have already done so, and that the remaining millions would be difficult to enroll.” The lower number in enrollees is not good news for health care providers or American consumers.
Clearly, the Obama administration can’t deliver on its promises for affordable health care. With the low number of Americans enrolled in Obamacare, state health exchange programs failing, and tax increases, the law is hurting Americans.