The early figures on the Affordable Care Act are raising some concerns for those who believed that it would address the problem of the uninsured. Christopher Weaver and Anna Wilde Matthews (Wall Street Journal) report:
Early signals suggest the majority of the 2.2 million people who sought to enroll in private insurance through new marketplaces through Dec. 28 were previously covered elsewhere, raising questions about how swiftly this part of the health overhaul will be able to make a significant dent in the number of uninsured.
A McKinsey & Co survey cited in the piece suggests that only 11 percent of those who purchased coverage under the Affordable Care Act between November and January were previously uninsured. The numbers are somewhat better from other sources, but in each case a majority of those who purchased insurance were previously insured.
Granted, the first few months of the Affordable Care Act were particularly chaotic, and many of those who managed to navigate their way through the website suffered sticker shock (McKinsey found that affordability was cited by 52 percent of those who shopped for a plan but decided not to purchase one). But the numbers seem peculiar nonetheless. (more…)