Surprise: Obamacare Enrollment 30% Less Than Previously Expected; Spike In 2015 Premiums Imminent

While the small business scourge that is Obamacare may not last very long now that the GOP has full control of Congress, and a scourge it is according even to the Philly Fed itself as per "Obamacare Is A Disaster For Businesses, Philly Fed Finds"...

... there is some hope that its disastrous impacts on the US economy (one has to find the irony that the economic slam in late 2013 and early 2014 was blamed on snow in the winter and not on the US president), may be finally fading.

The reason: according to the WSJ, moments ago the Obama administration revised its estimate for Obamacare enrollment, now saying - with the bruising midterms safely in the rearview mirror - that it expects some 9.9 million people to have coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges in 2015, millions fewer than outside experts predicted.

Only it's not even 9.9 million:

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Monday the administration was aiming for 9.1 million paid-up enrollees for 2015, though the range could extend to 9.9 million, according to the agency’s analysis. Ms. Burwell said she respected the work of the Congressional Budget Office and its projections but that she believed HHS figures were based on the best and most up-to-date information.

So really 8 million, or less? Which is great news for the economy as it means less forced wealth redistribution, if less than great news for the administration's propaganda. Recall that as recently as two months ago this number stood about 30% higher: according to a projection by the Congressional Budget Office, some 13 million Americans were expected to enroll in Obamacare in the coming year. But what's some 30% between friends? Just blame it on seasonal adjustments. And don't forget: the US budget deficit needs to soar in the coming years to open the much needed capacity for the Fed to monetize even more debt because everyone who lived through October 15 saw what will happen if the Fed continues to monetize more than 100% of net issuance.

It gets worse, or if one is the US economy, better:

Also diminished is the number of Americans who had private coverage under the law’s marketplaces for 2014. The administration said Monday that around 7.1 million people across the country who picked plans during the current year’s open-enrollment period were still paid up for their coverage. That’s down from the eight million who the administration said had picked plans as of this spring.

So... 1 million down in 9 months: must be even more seasonal adjustments.

And just as everyone suspected in late 2013, the wildly overblown numbers by the administration were just that, because sooner or later, even those getting handouts would have to make a token payment or at least confirm they are legal US residents. They couldn't.

HHS officials said they had cut off tax credits for December for 120,000 households that hadn’t responded to requests for more information about their income. Another 112,000 people have had their coverage terminated because the federal government couldn’t confirm they were legally residing in the U.S. That number is down slightly from an earlier announcement from the federal government that it was cutting off 116,000 people over immigration and citizenship status issues.

And with Obamacare's punitive measures having been delayed through 2015 in hopes of "buying" the midterm elections, hopes which now lie crushed in a smoldering heap, next up is the real sticker shocked:

A new window-shopping tool on the federal insurance website that made its debut late Sunday is giving consumers the first glimpse of health-insurance prices for next year. Many people who bought insurance plans through will see their premium increase in 2015 unless they are willing to switch insurance carriers.

Changing plans to ones which have far worse deductibles and coverage, which of course is par for the course for anything the government gets its hands on. For everyone else, well: there are higher prices which will more than offset the temporary gas price drop holiday:

Proposed rates filed by insurers with state regulators over the past six months suggested that big carriers that snapped up a lot of customers last year are raising their rates for 2015, and new market entrants and plans that got fewer sign-ups in 2014 are slashing prices in a bid for more market share. The final rates, posted late Sunday on, have followed a similar pattern. As a result, most people who bought coverage through the site last year will see their premiums increase for 2015, at the same time that the lowest rate available on the site remains relatively steady.


In Tallahassee, Fla., the lowest-cost silver plan available to a 26-year-old nonsmoker for 2014 was sold by Florida Blue, or Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, with a premium of $228 a month. For 2015, the cost would rise about 20% to $273, according to the premium information displayed on The same 26-year-old could pay a $236 monthly premium for a United Healthcare plan that wasn’t available for 2014.

The punchline:

“We are strongly encouraging people to come back to,” said Kevin Counihan, chief executive of the site, on Sunday.

And if people don't come back, do they get an IRS audit?