7.1 million. (Give or take a few hundred thousand.)
It’s a number you’re going to hear a lot. And it’s completely irrelevant.
First of all, the most reliable polling we have showed that 73% of ObamaCare enrollees already had insurance. And the 20% or so who hadn’t paid were almost exclusively concentrated in the group that didn’t, meaning that up to 50% of the previously uninsured have not (and may not) pay. This would leave only 959,000 new ObamaCare insurees. (Anywhere from 2.5% to 10% of these, based on historical data, will jump ship in the next few months.) (And perhaps as few as 1.2-1.8 million of the new enrollees for sucky Medicaid welfare are new.)
Let’s give Obama the benefit of the doubt and say that last-minute enrollees were all younger and uninsured, and the number is two million — or even more. (Although, you know what? If the numbers aren’t horrible, Obama knows what they are and releases them immediately.)
Of course, those poor unfortunate “invincibles” who made the mistake of purchasing insurance are now having “fern regret,” as they realize they have paid for a 25% average premium increase which will be useless to them in the case of a skateboard accident because of a $5,000 deductible. It may have even occurred to them by now that Obama has duped them into paying for their wealthy parents’ health care — using nothing but a cheap ad.
All of this pales in comparison to the coming Obama Problems.
First, the giant insurance premium increases which will be proposed in the next few months. The only thing keeping these rate hikes in check is giant “risk corridor” bribes ($5.2 billion, at last check) Obama will dole out to keep the “evil” insurance companies on the ObamaCare reservation.
Senator Marco Rubio has introduced legislation to block these bribes. And we have encouraged him to bring the bill directly onto the calendar (under Senate Rule XIV), seize the floor, and force the Senate to vote on his bill.
The second problem is that the central core of Obama’s base is facing hundreds of dollars of ObamaFines, going into the 2014 elections. 50% of uninsured in California are Hispanic, and, at least early on, only 5% of enrollees fell into this category. If I were Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, I would run ads saying (in better Spanish than I remember after 50 years): “Amigos: Barack Obama wants to fine you hundreds of dollars simply because you were afraid that, by buying his expensive health insurance, Obama would deport your friends and relatives. Vote Republican, and those fines will be repealed.”
The same for “cash cow” young people, who supported Obama by over a 20% gap.
And, incidentally, Speaker John Boehner and company need to make sure that the September CR (continuing resolution) is only for six months, in order to leave the new GOP Congress the ability to exercise the power of the purse.
This is not even to mention the fact that the only reason ObamaCare has not collapsed the economy is that most of it (the employer mandates) have been suspended by Obama himself until after the 2014 elections.
Republicans are not only going to have to take the Senate in 2014. They’re going to have to take it with a sufficient majority to give them momentum going into 2016. I believe that, once Clinton is no longer the only “inevitable” presidential candidate, it’s going to be clearer that the American people don’t want to be governed by an annoying Leftist nag. But, with Ron Johnson, Toomey, Kirk, and Ayotte up for election in 2016, the GOP can’t afford to do less well in 2014 than it is capable of doing.