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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Individual Mandate Goes Poof -- The latest delays show that the supposed centerpiece of ObamaCare won't cause the uninsured to buy coverage. -- By Abby McCloskey and Tom Miller, The Wall Street Journal

(Chad Crowe illustration)

One by one, the myths of the Affordable Care Act have been revealed. When the curtain on open enrollment falls on March 31, the last remaining big myth of ObamaCare will be fully exposed: The individual mandate has failed. 

After a last-ditch effort with President Obama himself encouraging "young invincibles" to sign up before the deadline, the administration is scrambling to boost enrollment. On Tuesday, the White House announced that people who applied for coverage on the federal health-insurance exchange will have until mid-April to finish the paperwork.

The mandate was supposed to be the administration's magical elixir for the assorted shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act. Disappointing early enrollment numbers? More people will sign up eventually to avoid mandate penalties. Potential premium spikes for government-approved coverage that must ignore cost differences in the age- and health-related risks of enrollees? Forcing young and healthy individuals to buy coverage will spread out the costs.

But the individual mandate was never strong enough to force millions of Americans to buy insurance they did not want or could not afford. Last week, the Obama administration estimated that five million Americans had signed up thus far for insurance on the exchanges, falling short of original projections by the administration and the Congressional Budget Office that there would be seven million first-year enrollees. Yet even the five million figure needs to be discounted by at least another 20% to account for people who fail to pay for their first month's premium, according to insurers' estimates of early enrollees.
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