The Hill asks 5 questions re. the 2nd Open Enrollment period. Here's some of my own.

In The Hill yesterday, Elise Viebeck posed 5 reasonable questions about the upcoming 2nd Open Enrollment period, set to run from 11/15/14 - 2/15/15:

  • Is ready?
  • Are three months enough?
  • What are consumers hearing?
  • What about cancelled plans?
  • Who will take the fall for problems?

Fair enough. I have my own questions to add to these, however:

Will the House GOP Commerce & Energy Committee finally admit that yes, around 90% of all QHP enrollees are actually paying for their first month's premium?

Will Avik Roy finally admit that yes, the majority of QHP enrollees are newly enrolled?

Will the Republican Party finally admit that the overall uninsured rate nationally has dropped by a good 12 million or so to date (likely more like 14 million by the time November rolls around)?

Will they admit that the overall net attrition rate after the first month is only around 3% or so?

For that matter, will they admit that even if people are dropping out due to life changes, this isn't necessarily such a bad thing?

Will nay-sayers finally admit that the so-called "death spiral" of through-the-roof premium spikes simply isn't happening (or at least not in 2015, anyway)?

Sadly, I'm pretty sure that the answer to all of the above is still likely to be "no".

A few days ago, Paul Krugman nailed it on the head:

Every suggestion of bad news gets highlighted — especially, of course, but not only by Fox, the WSJ, etc.. But when it turns out that the news wasn’t really that bad, these sources just move on. There are claims that millions of people are losing coverage — headlines! When it turns out not to be true — crickets! Some experts claim that premiums will rise by double digits — big news! Actual premium numbers come in and they’re surprisingly low — not mentioned.

That's why the GOP can release an absurd "survey" claiming only 2 out of 3 of people are paying up even when it's actually nearly 9 out of 10. It's why the Heritage Foundation can claim only 3.4 million people have gained insurance when it's actually more like 12 million. It's why Avik Roy could claim that only 27% of QHP enrollees were newly insured when it was actually 57%, and so on.

Oh, and one more question:

Will HHS bring back the monthly enrollment reports in a more comprehensive fashion, along with lower-level weekly reports, thus making my job obsolete at long last?