RAND Study: Most Obamacare Enrollees Were Already Insured

Monday, 31 Mar 2014 07:35 PM

By Jason Devaney

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Only roughly one-third of Americans who have signed up for healthcare plans using the Obamacare exchanges were previously without health insurance, a RAND study says.

The still-to-be-released study results, which were reported in a Forbes article, show that the majority of enrollees through the administration's new healthcare law had insurance before they signed up.

The intent behind the Affordable Care Act was to provide insurance for those who needed it most: the uninsured. The RAND study results seem to show the opposite is happening.

Forbes reports that the most common reason people did not sign up for plans through Obamacare was that they were too expensive. That will only get worse, with rumors of rate hikes in the near future.

"It's like opening day at the hardware store and you're going to have a special," Joseph Antos, a health policy analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Washington Post.

The RAND study also confirms that 9 million people have bought healthcare outside the Obamacare exchanges.

Earlier this month, Forbes reported on a McKinsey survey that said just 14 percent of Obamacare sign-ups were previously uninsured — less than 500,000 of the 3.3 million overall total at the time.

The McKinsey study found that the most common reason people did not sign up for plans through Obamacare was the same as in the RAND study: it cost too much.

Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso told Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" that the Obama administration is "cooking the books" when it comes to sign-up numbers.

"I don’t think [6 million] means anything," Barrasso said. "I think they’re cooking the books on this. People want to know the answers to that. They also want to know, when this is all said and done, what kind of insurance will those actually have?"

In order for the healthcare law to be funded properly, 38 percent of the people who sign up need to be young and healthy. Wallace said the current number is about 25 percent.

Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who typically leans left, said that figure will change.

"The sign-ups are getting younger by the day," King told Wallace. "Younger people, not surprisingly, are the last people to sign up."

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