Obamacare May Be Failing the Uninsured
At the outset, Obamacare was created to expand health coverage to the 13 percent of eligible Americans—roughly 38 million—who are uninsured.
A new survey, however, found that the majority of people signing up for coverage already had health insurance.
Consulting firm McKinsey and Co. found that just 27 percent of the 4 million Obamacare enrollees were previously uninsured.
While the number of previously uninsured enrollees is low, the survey does not include those who are now eligible for Medicaid. So the number is likely larger since under the expanded Medicaid program the Obama administration estimates that about 9 million people have been deemed eligible.
The private consulting firm is the first to offer an answer to one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the Obamacare rollout: Is it actually helping to expand coverage to the uninsured? The administration has not been tracking this information, though it’s a key metric in determining whether the law is meeting its goals.
“That's not a data point we are really collecting in any sort of systematic way,” Gary Cohen, a top official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), told an audience at a health policy conference in Washington on Thursday.
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