The promise of Obamacare was to provide uninsured Americans with healthcare coverage, but the reality is that the overwhelming majority of enrollees are the previously insured, writes Karl Rove, the veteran Republican political strategist.
Rove quoted President Barack Obama's pledge: "I'm not going to walk away from 40 million people who have the chance to get health insurance for the first time," in a Wall Street Journal op-ed
Yet it turns out that only around 11 percent of Obamacare enrollees had been previously uninsured, according to a McKinsey & Co. survey.
If the Affordable Care Act was supposed to "right a great social wrong" in practice it has essentially shifted millions of privately insured Americans to public insurance "without reducing the number of uninsured very much," says Rove.
The explanation may rest with two unintended consequences of Obamacare — the cancellation of many existing policies, and the incentives provided to businesses with fewer than 50 employees to drop their group coverage.
"Whatever the explanation," writes Rove, between 65 and 80 percent of Americans "getting private insurance under Obamacare already had it, probably with lower premiums and deductibles."
As far as Medicaid's expansion, the tally of enrollees counts people who had already been participating in state Medicaid programs and whose coverage was renewed.
"This is not how it was supposed to be. Mr. Obama promised coverage for those without insurance and no disruptions for those already possessing it. Instead, tens of millions of Americans are not receiving coverage while there are massive disruptions for those who had plans before Obamacare," concludes Rove.
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