Doing the math on Obamacare signups

The first week has come and gone and the highest estimates that I’ve seen for number of enrollees are like, in the hundreds. So OK, surely the site will improve right? Yes, for sure, it must. But it isn’t improved much today, and they can’t really take it down again until the weekend, so I’m guessing we will lose another week to frustration and vanishingly low enrollment. Let’s say that happens.

Now, the deadline to sign up in order to be covered in January is Dec 15. After another week passes by there will be, let’s just say 60 days left to sign up (counting weekends!)

How many people are supposed to sign up for this thing?

Well they say there are 40 million uninsured, and the law requires them to sign up, right? But we all know that isn’t going to happen, so what’s the number? I’ve heard something like they need 2.7 million young people to sign up…  So let’s call it 3 million total.

To sign up 3 million people over 60 days, the site needs to actually complete 50,000 purchases per day. (To sign up all 40 million uninsured it would be 2/3 of a million per day!!)

Now folks, that just ain’t gonna happen. Right now they might be getting up into the hundreds per day. They may hit thousands, sure, but after how long? And 50,000?

So I’m gonna make the call right now: healthcare.gov and related systems will never be functional enough to enroll the number of people who want to enroll in them, before December 15th. In another month, this fact will become obvious to everyone, and then the real crisis hits: what to do? It’s already the law! Insurers have already canceled all of their nonconforming policies! People are going to be totally, completely screwed. (Imagine the lawsuits that could arise from the government forcing you to buy something that their web site won’t let you buy.)

Anyway, aside from disaster for Obama and the Democrats, I am not really sure what will happen when this all comes to pass. Uncharted territory, to be sure.

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