Is Washington State ObamaCare’s Success Story?

Washington has had one of the most “successful” ObamaCare rollouts in the country, with a couple hundred thousand applications placed through their state’s health insurance exchange. But the picture is not all rosy. Dr. Roger Stark, a health care policy analyst at Washington Policy Center and distinguished retired physician, explains that most enrollees are actually signing up for Medicaid:

State officials just released the most recent figures. A total of 211,000 people have made applications. Out of that number, 150,000 signed up for Medicaid, with no out-of-pocket cost. Of the remaining 61,000 who signed up on the private insurance side, only 18,000 have paid the initial premium and 43,000 have made application but have not put any money down.

In other words, 89% of people who have completed the exchange application have signed up for the Medicaid entitlement without any cost to them. Only 11% have signed up on the private side of the exchange. This is a very worrisome trend and hasn’t changed since October. For Obamacare to work financially, the exchanges must have young, healthy people sign up on the private side. If they don’t, the ACA becomes a huge, costly entitlement expansion and redistribution of wealth.

The exchange rollout has had other adverse effects on Washington families. Thousands of calls to the 1-800 number have gone unanswered. Two of the largest hospital systems in the Puget Sound area, Childrens and Swedish, have been excluded from government approved insurance plans in the exchanges.

And, is the Medicaid expansion a good deal?

The ACA is written such that ultimately 90% of the new Medicaid expansion is paid for by federal taxpayers. Of course, state taxpayers are the same people as federal taxpayers. So actually Washington state taxpayers will be forced to pay for the entire expansion, or $17-$22 billion over 10 years, depending on enrollment….

Read the rest of Dr. Stark’s assessment of Washington’s ObamaCare experience here.

This entry was posted in Cascade Website, Entitlement, Health Care, Kathryn Hickok, Tax and Budget and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Is Washington State ObamaCare’s Success Story?

  1. Neil Huff says:

    Given the realities of the national economy, I wonder why the lawmakers responsible for ‘Obamacare’ didn’t foresee that most folks would opt for the program that entailed
    the least cost to themselves? What is happening in Washington is a foretaste of the way the rest of the country will react when the system is everywhere fully operative.
    I think it is likely that the entire program will be revised.

  2. Neil Huff says:

    Several current articles are saying that insurance premiums are going up along with the introduction of “Obamacare”. How is this going to work? Congressmen are saying they have not even read the law! Or if they have, do not themselves, its putative authors, understand its workings.

    People that couldn’t afford health insurance before the “roll out” are going to afford it now with even higher premiums? Families too poor for health insurance before will be fined for not signing up for “Obamacare”? Additionally some companies that do offer health insurance to full time employees are cutting back on hours so there are fewer full time employees for whom they presently pay health care insurance. One can only wonder what will happen when the new higher minimum wages cause employers to cut back on the numbers they employ. Will Medicaid be ended or greatly expanded?

    Since our borders remain open, and Mexican and central Americans- mostly unskilled Indians- continue to flood into the country carrying with them untreated diseases and drug resistant bugs, it appears to me “Obamacare” will exacerbate our problems with an already calamitous health care non-system with even more people having to depend on the ER facilities of hospitals for primary care.

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