04/01/14 — Deadline: The numbers are in. Now is the time for statistics.

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Deadline: The numbers are in. Now is the time for statistics.

The Obama administration spent much of its time Monday talking about hitting goals as officials struggled to keep the online signup system afloat.

The reason for the troubles, they said, was because so many people waited until the last minute to sign up for government-sponsored insurance.

Close to seven million people is what the administration claims is the total number of signups -- with possibly more coming later as the stragglers trickle in.

And that is great. But before the new healthcare initiative is in full swing, it is time someone asked a real question or two.

Here are a couple:

• How many of those seven million are people who were bumped off their previous health plans by the new Obamacare regulations?

• What is the percentage of Medicaid signups vs. paying client signups?

• What are the ages of the people who have signed up? How many of them have expensive pre-existing conditions?

There are other queries that need to be made, but just these few are the first steps to finding out one very important fact: Will this system be able to sustain itself without government bailouts?

Why does that matter? Guess who will pay that bill?

The die has been cast in Round 1 of Obamacare and it is time to wait to see what happens next.

But it is essential that the questions get asked and the information out.

There is no other way to determine what the next best step is and whom we want to lead the way in making it.

Reform, replace, repeal or leave it as is -- that is the question that will be front and center in November.

And we better know a little more before we determine just whom we will support in that endeavor.

Published in Editorials on April 1, 2014 11:16 AM