♡bamaCare!!! supporters love to crow about how many more people have insurance since the Totally Settled Law of the Land™ kinda-sorta went into effect. But how much credit does ♡bamaCare!!! really deserve? Robert Laszewski reports:
A May, 2015 Rand Corporation study for a comparable period found about the same decline in the number of those uninsured but gave us the rest of the story. From the study summary:
Insurance coverage has increased across all types of insurance since the major provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act took effect, with a net total of 16.9 million people becoming newly enrolled through February 2015, according to a new RAND Corporation study.
Researchers estimate that from September 2013 to February 2015, 22.8 million Americans became newly insured and 5.9 million lost coverage, for a net of 16.9 million newly insured Americans.
Among those newly gaining coverage, 9.6 million people enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans, followed by Medicaid (6.5 million), the individual marketplaces (4.1 million), non marketplace individual plans (1.2 million) and other insurance sources (1.5 million).
So, more than half of the reduction in the number of people who are uninsured is coming from an old fashioned increase in the number of people being covered in employer health plans. You will recall that the Obamacare employer mandate was delayed during 2014 so we can hardly credit the big employer gains to that part of Obamacare. Nor, is there much evidence that the individual mandate has had a big impact on enrollment–few people signed up by the special tax deadline extension. I will suggest those employer coverage gains could just as easily have more to do with a recovering economy and employment improvement.
As Rand points out, the Obamacare insurance exchange enrollment is tepid at best—accounting for only a gain in the number of insured of 4.1 million people.
Don’t bother asking how many more people would have private insurance if ♡bamaCare!!! hadn’t induced employers cut their work hours to 30 a week, because you don’t want to know.