Thursday, November 14, 2013

Understanding ObamaCare and President Obama Numbers
None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers.
David Stockman (born 1946), Former Director of Management and Budge
I have an E-book coming out this Christmas season entitled Understanding ObamaCare.   So I have a natural affinity for numbers that reflect the performance of President Obama and his health plan. 
Three Sets of Numbers
What follows are three sets of numbers.
One, the just released figures on Obamacare selections of health plans in the state and federal exchanges through November 1.  The source is Kathleen Sibelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Two, Real Clear Politics averages of 11 major polls and the situation of President Obama and his Patient Protection and Affordability Act, or the ACA, more popularly known as Obamacare.
Three, the latest Fox News poll numbers.  These polls give us some sense of how Americans  personally view Obama and ObamaCare.

One – Federal Selection of Plans Figures
Through November 1,   975, 000 people representing 0.1% of all Americans visited A total of 106,185 selected plans – 79,391 from 14 state-run exchanges, and 26,794 from federal-managed exchanges.  The administration counted those who had selected a plan,  not those who had paid their first premium and officially enrolled.
ObamaCare is far behind schedule.  The potential enrollment numbers are disappointing.  To reach its goal of 7 million by March 1, 2014, some 40,000 per day would have to enroll by paying a premium.    For the first month, the number reported here, that would amount to 1.2 million people. 106,000 are 9% of 1.2 million, which means potential enrollment figures lag its projected number by 91%. 
The 106,000 is inflated because, according to the Health Insurance Institute of America,   those counted as “enrolled” should include only those who have paid their first premium, which is not the case here.
Also the administration gives no breakdown of the demographic make- up of those who selected plans.  To make ObamaCare financially viable,  30% of enrollees should be young people (18 to 34 in age).  We do not know that number. The administration is hoping ObamaCare follows the Massachusetts example,  where the startup was slow and spiked at the end of the enrollment period.  In the case of ObamaCare, the end of the enrollment period is December 1, which will undoubtedly be extended to make up for time lost because of the botched website.
Two -Real Clear Politics numbers. 
 Approval numbers are based on average of 11 major national polls - Quinnipiac, Rasmussen, GWU Battleground, Gallup, NBC/WSJ, Fox News, CBS News, CNN Opinion Research , ABC News/Washington Post, and Reuters Ipsos. 
The latest numbers are:
1.      Obama job approval overall, 41.9%

2.      Obama economic job approval, 36.3%

3.      Obama foreign policy job approval, 37.3%

4.       Approval of direction of country,22.0%

5.      Congressional job approval,  8.5%

6.      Approval of health care law, 41.6%

7.      General make up of Congress, 43% Democrats, 39% Republicans
Three -  Latest Fox News Polls. 
Fox News  polls are politically neutral and closely  track other national  polls.
Its polls numbers include:
1.      Obama job approval, 40%

2.      Obama economic job approval, 37%

3.      Obama foreign policy job approval, 38%

4.      Health Law approval, 41%

5.       Number who consider ObamaCare implementation a “joke,” 60%

6.      Number who think Obama “knowingly lied” to pass health reform law, 50%

7.      Number who believe Obama knew of cancellations  ahead of time, 40%

8.      Number dissatisfied with direction of country, 73%

9.      Number who want to continue Benghazi investigation, 65%
The bad news for Obama is that health plan selection (and potential enrollment)  in Obamacare is badly lagging, 91% below projections. Poll numbers show decline in job approval at all-time low of 41.9% in average of national polls. Only  41.6% approve of health law, and 50% in Fox News polls indicate 50% of public think Obama  “knowingly lied” to pass the law and 40% say he knew in advance cancellations would occur. 
The good news is that there is always gloom for improvement,  that a lame duck is not necessarily a dead duck, and that if is fixed,  enrollments surge, the economy improves,  President Obama may rebound from his current lows.
Tweet: Low health law potential enrollment numbers and low poll numbers indicate  lack of trust in  health care law, government and Obama

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