Akash Chougule

At first blush, many viewed the White House announcement that 7 million people had signed up for ObamaCare as a defeat for advocates of limited government. President Obama’s speech two weeks ago in the Rose Garden was presented as a vindication of his signature law and more broadly, his administration. Replete with sunshine, smiles, and cheering, Obama delivered a touchdown dance – essentially declaring victory for ObamaCare as he announced the arbitrary milestone. But before the President and his allies proclaim “mission accomplished,” they should take heed of the standards by which the American people will ultimately judge ObamaCare – the same standards the Administration set for itself.

The primary goal of the President’s $2 trillion health care law (that took over one-sixth of the economy) was to insure the uninsured. By every reasonable assessment, it has failed to do so. Research from the RAND Corporation estimates that of the 7.1 million enrollees on March 31st, only about 858,000 people who were previously uninsured have completed enrollment and paid a premium signifying they are covered.

Furthermore, “7 million” merely represents people who have gotten as far as putting a plan in their “online shopping cart.” It says nothing about whether they have actually paid a premium – which determines whether they are actually covered. After months of being unable to answer questions about enrollment numbers and breakdowns, the administration was miraculously able to tell the precise moment at which ObamaCare hit 7 million – but still refuses or is unable to say exactly how many have paid a premium.

As of 2012, over 47 million nonelderly adults in the United States were uninsured. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that in 2023, there will still be 30 million people uninsured in the United States. In other words, even when measured by the administration’s own key metric, ObamaCare has been – and will continue to be – a colossal failure.


Akash Chougule

Akash Chougule is a Policy Analyst at Americans for Prosperity, where he began in November 2013. Follow him on Twitter @AkashJC.