CNN Trumpets 10k Per Day 'Applying' for Obamacare in CA; No Mention of How Many Paid

Looky Loo: A term for someone who looks at something with no intention of buying it.

CNN Money published an article trumpeting the fact that 10,000 per day were "applying" (also "registering") on the California Obamacare website, Covered California. Among the many statistics happily tossed out by the reporter, Tami Luhby, one is notably missing. The most important stat of them all: how many people actually paid for an Obamacare insurance policy. So let us now join Ms Luhby reciting the California Obamacare statistics...except for the most vital one:

More than 360,000 people have created accounts on the Covered California website, through Nov. 19, according to health exchange officials. Some 39% of them are eligible for Medi-Cal. The rest can pick a private insurance policy on the exchange, with about half of them eligible for federal subsidies to defer premiums or out-of-pocket expenses.

If 39% of the 10,000 are eligible for Medi-Cal, then that reduces the pool of people who can pay for Obamacare down to 6,100 per day. Of course no word yet as to how many have paid as to merely looking before being hit by sticker shock. We now return to the happy stat party...

Nearly 80,000 residents have signed up for a policy, the final step on the exchange before working out payment with the insurance company. That's up from 59,000 in mid-November.

"Before working out payment..." Which means as of now we have 80,000 Obamacare looky loos in California out of a population of about 38 million. However, this little caveat won't hinder the joyous stat eruption:

Younger Californians age 18 to 34 account for about 22.5% of the sign ups in October, just about the share they represent in the state population. Luring in younger and healthier consumers, who use fewer medical services and would offset older, costlier policyholders, are vital to the health of the state exchange. If young people don't enroll, then rates could soar for 2015.

And what happens if they "enroll" but don't pay? Among the stats merrily tossed about is one with a distinct sour note:

Also, although roughly 450,000 residents who are losing their current individual policies face higher premium prices on the exchange, the board opted not to take Obama up on his "fix." Extending the policies risks destabilizing the exchange because it is likely to attract sicker people seeking more comprehensive coverage, while allowing healthier policy holders to retain their bare bones plans. That could cause rates to rise in 2015. Also, it will cause much confusion among Californians. An insurance trade group representative urged board members not to allow extensions.

Therefore 450,000 Californians are losing their insurance policies and this is somehow balanced out by the fact that 80,000 have "signed up" (but not paid) for Obamacare? A net loss of at least 370,000. So the California Obamacare story is far from happy when you look carefully at the facts.

P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick is a freelance writer and creator of the DUmmie FUnnies blog.