The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
Oregon Obamacare ad. Photo: YouTube screenshot Oregon Obamacare ad. Photo: YouTube screenshot  

Taxpayers doling out $14k per person in Obamacare exchanges

Obamacare enrollment across the country is now 70 percent short of the Obama administration’s original target, with taxpayers paying $14,000 per enrollee.

Almost 365,000 Americans have selected a plan in any of the Obamacare exchanges while the Obama administration had expected 1.2 million by the end of November.

Conservative group Americans for Tax Reform calculates that between $677 million spent building and repairing the federal HealthCare.gov and $4.5 billion spent to promote Obamacare in the states, sparse Obamacare enrollments have come at a price tag of $5.2 billion.

While the price tag per enrollee may seem high on a federal level, some states have spent disproportionately more. In fact, according to one report, every state exchange’s costs are performing worse than HealthCare.gov.

Oregon’s exchange has been by far the worst deal for taxpayers. Oregon’s exchange has cost over $300 million, but just 44 people have selected a plan in the state — a cost of over $6.8 million in taxpayer dollars per person.

The Democratic state’s early adoption of Obamacare and large press push — including a multi-million dollar ad campaign centered around folks songs written about Obamacare coverage — have not paid off. Despite advertisements and plenty of federal grants, the online exchange is still not functioning and Oregon has resorted to hiring hundreds of temp workers to process a backlog of an estimated 65,000 applications.

Cover Oregon’s interim director (the original director overseeing the botched rollout has taken “medical leave”) has admitted that processing that applications has taken longer than expected, potentially leaving even those that have applied without coverage on January 1.

Residents footing the bill for Oregon’s $6.8 million exchanges but weren’t able to get an insurance plan in time are likely to be disappointed in the outcome.

While Oregon’s experience may be by far the worst, even the so-called successful state exchanges have exorbitant costs not offset by high participation. According to Phil Kerpen, president of the free-market organization American Commitment, every single state exchange has done worse than HealthCare.gov at keeping costs down.

When taken alone, HealthCare.gov has cost $677 million, adding up to just under $5,000 per person. Even the much-lauded Kentucky, California and New York exchanges, which have been portrayed as major success stories, have cost taxpayers more. Kentucky comes in at $19,300 per person that’s selected a plan; New York at $9,427; and California has the best deal for a state exchange at $8,503.

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