Red Herring Alert: Don’t focus on the 8 million number … here’s why.

I love David Copperfield.

For that matter, I like practically all illusionists.

One trick that illusionists use is to get the audience focused on a decoy … to redirect the audience away from where the “trick” is really happening.

On Wall Street, the decoy is sometimes called a “red herring” …  “something that misleads or distracts from the relevant or important issue.”


Like a deft illusionist, President Obama now has the country focused on the 8 million folks who have signed-up on the ObamaCare Exchanges.

This decoy fell into Obama’s hands when the web site crashed and Republicans, started spotlighting the number – assuming that it would be a clear indicator to the country that ObamaCare failed.

Bingo: GOP gets everybody focused on the 7 million number ,,,, Obama hits the Ferns … sign-ups blow past 8 million … GOP loses its talking point … Obama takes a victory lap.

Not so fast.

Guess what?

The 8 million number is a red herring – plain & simple.

Here’s what we should all be focusing on …


ObamaCare’s primary objective was to provide health insurance to uninsured folks, right?

Let’s flashback to 2010 … you know, when ObamaCare was passed.

At the time, the CBO projected that in 2014 (this year) 54 million U.S. residents would be uninsured save for ObamaCare.

They further projected that 21 million of the uninsureds would get insurance under ObamaCare’s provisions … leaving 32 million uninsured.

OK, let’s fast forward to 2014 …

In their most recent “baseline estimate”, the CBO is projecting that in 2014 (this year) 57 million U.S. residents would be uninsured save for ObamaCare.

They further project that 13 million of the uninsureds will be getting  insurance under ObamaCare’s provisions … leaving 45 million uninsured. (Note: 1 million folks got lost in the rounding)

WHAT ???

Think about those numbers for a second …

First, 21 million uninsureds were supposed to get ObamaCare-related insurance … what happened to the 8 million (21 million projected in 2010 versus the 13 million projected now)?

Most important, despite about $100 billion in annual spending and a lot of disruption to the healthcare system, 45 million peoplealmost 80% of the uninsured are still uninsured !

The 8 million sign-ups is a red herring … a decoy … the number to key your eye on is the 45 million … the number of folks still uninsured according to the CBO

Will somebody please remind me why we’re doing this?


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