3rd Open Enrollment ends with numbers 1/2 of what CBO predicted

February 01, 2016

When the law was first passed, there were something like $55 million uninsureds. Experts and analysts expected that this law would make a big dent in covering many of these folks who didn't have coverage. Congressional budget analysts had predicted that 21 million people would have the plans this year (2016) — double what HHS has forecast.

Fast forward to 2/1/16, the official end of the third Open Enrollment. While the final numbers have not been released, a week ago, 11.6 million people had selected Affordable Care Act health plans, compared with a final tally of 11.7 million last year. Those figures include people who enroll; however, some will not pay the first premium and end up dropping coverage before it starts. Read more: Open Enrollment is over

So three years into this, with only 1/5 of the uninsureds now with health insurance coverage, billions of dollars spent, out of control healthcare costs including spiraling prescription prices, less choices of plans and smaller networks and no benefits across state lines, insurance companies withdrawing their products from the market, and premiums that are in some cases double the rates of pre-ACA plans, how do you call this law a success?

Many will agree that we needed to stop denying coverage to people with medical conditions or excluding these conditions or charging more because they are sick- agreed! However, this idea that we can keep our old plan and have more choices has not come to fruition. The affordable care act has run-away premiums, narrowing networks and many people choosing to go without coverage and pay the fine, which in the long run continues the cost shifting to those with insurance, increasing premiums even further.