The New York Times had an interesting article over the weekend about the tremendous struggle "community organizers" are having in getting people to sign up for health insurance--as required by the Affordable Care Act. In case you didn't know, all of those people who went out and got people registered to vote--and signed up to receive absentee ballots--in President Obama's two campaigns for President have been given new jobs: find many of the same people and get them signed up for insurance. I guess you could call it the "Campaign to Save President Obama's Legacy"--by boosting the number of newly-insured to something approaching the 30-million that was promised with the ACA.
One group working in Broward County, Florida was able to sign up just 0.95% of the people they were able to make contact with. Some were already in health insurance plans, some were anti-ObamaCare, but most were just not that interested. Remember, these were the 30-million that were desperate to get health insurance six years ago. But now that the door is wide open to that--they aren't exactly rushing in to get it.
As I have mentioned before, there are several reasons for this. One is that some of those Obama voters expected the health insurance to be completely free. It's why the number of applicants and the number of enrollees in the Federal exchanges continues to see a wide gap. Those folks get to the end of the process and find out that they will be paying out of pocket each month--and the desperation just seems to fade away.
You also have a large segment of the population that has a reason for the government not to know where they live. They may owe back taxes, child support, court fines, they may have outstanding warrants for their arrests or they may be making their money in a way that the IRS (and local law enforcement) don't consider to be legal. In the Times article one person who sent the "organizers" away wanted to know how they knew where she was.
And apparently, the "glitches" on HealthCare.gov still haven't been worked out. I had to chuckle when one of the people contacted at their door was interested in signing up--and three attempts to register them failed due to website issues. That kind of stuff not only frustrates those actually hoping to benefit from the program--but it also leads them to question just how reliable this whole thing is going to be once they are in the system.
I think it's safe to say that all of the truly desperate people who didn't have health insurance before the ACA have signed up and are paying their premiums. The question we have to ask now is how much time, effort and--most importantly--money are we the taxpayers going to spend to convince the indifferent to get on board too?