NEW YORK (MainStreet) There is another potential problem looming on the horizon for President Barack Obama, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) and the rest of the Democrats in Congress. Apparently, the Medicaid expansion may siphon off part of the demographic needed to make the Affordable Care Act (ACA) private health insurance, offered via marketplace exchanges, affordable.
The enrollment demographics in the healthcare marketplace exchanges are not quite matching up as needed. A substantial portion of the "young invincibles" - those uninsured in the 18 to 35 age group, who are needed to enroll in private health insurance to keep the community rated premiums from getting out of control - are enrolling in Medicaid instead. If this continues to play out, the private insurance premiums could skyrocket.
Now some say this was the plan all along. Some conspiratorial types on the right of the political continuum say this was Obama's ultimate objective from jump street.
This is not feasible, at least not now, because more than eight out of ten people are still covered through their employer. But who knows what will happen to that employer based insurance market in the future? After all, the ACA may negatively impact those dynamics.
Whether by design or not, the Affordable Care Act is shaping up to be merely a rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic. Some of the uninsured will benefit, but some of those who are insured will have to pay more - and contrary to the pro-ACA spin machine - not necessarily for better coverage.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the total number of individuals who have completed applications through the ACA healthcare marketplace exchanges for the period October 1 to November 30 is 3,692,599.