This is a topic I have hit on for a while, but now we have even more startling data. Apparently, most of the people buying from the exchanges already had insurance:
Early signals suggest the majority of the 2.2 million people who sought to enroll in private insurance through new marketplaces through Dec. 28 were previously covered elsewhere, raising questions about how swiftly this part of the health overhaul will be able to make a significant dent in the number of uninsured.
Insurers, brokers and consultants estimate at least two-thirds of those consumers previously bought their own coverage or were enrolled in employer-backed plans.
The data, based on surveys of enrollees, are preliminary. But insurers say the tally of newly insured consumers is falling short of their expectations, a worrying trend for an industry looking to the law to expand the ranks of its customers.
… Only 11% of consumers who bought new coverage under the law were previously uninsured, according to a McKinsey & Co. survey of consumers thought to be eligible for the health-law marketplaces.
So, we know that 80% of the people are getting subsidized on the exchanges, and now we know that 70-90% of those previously had a unsubsidized policy beforehand. This means that what the exchanges are doing is NOT insuring the uninsured, but converting people previously responsible for their own health care into government dependents. The more cynical out there will argue that was the whole point in the first place.