It’s Working: The CBO Projections For Obamacare Enrollment Were Way Off…Like By Millions

Matt Vespa
|
Posted: Mar 20, 2017 6:30 AM
It’s Working: The CBO Projections For Obamacare Enrollment Were Way Off…Like By Millions

While the Congressional Budget Office’s projections on the GOP Obamacare replacement bill have rattled the ranks of the moderate Republican faction in the House, let’s also not forget that this agency is flawed as well. Yes, the fact that premiums won’t be curbed and that over 20 million more Americans probably won’t have health insurance by 2020 isn't good. It’s one of the reasons why moderate GOP lawmakers have started to run for the hills, but let’s not forget that the CBO also projected that 24 million people would be signed up for Obamacare by 2017. As Ali Meyer at The Washington Free Beacon reported, they were off by millions of people:

Just over 12.2 million individuals signed up for Obamacare coverage in 2017, roughly half of what the Congressional Budget Office projected four years ago.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its final enrollment report on Wednesday, showing how many individuals signed up for Obamacare coverage between November 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017.

The agency reported that 12,216,003 Americans either purchased a new Obamacare plan or were automatically reenrolled in Obamacare plans. Approximately 9 million Americans used Healthcare.gov to purchase insurance, while 3 million Americans bought coverage through the state-based marketplaces.

These enrollment numbers are dramatically different than the CBO's forecasted enrollment numbers in 2013. The CBO predicted that 24 million people would purchase coverage on the exchanges in 2017, nearly double the most recent enrollment figures.

"CBO has a poor record of predicting coverage," said Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. "In 2013, CBO predicted that 24 million people would be on the Obamacare exchanges, that law's health insurance marketplaces, in 2017."

So, it’s working, right? No—not really. Then again, the GOP replacement, which we’ve been waiting on for several years was marked by disappointment—with House Republican leadership being forced to tweak the bill to ensure passage.