Verdict is in: More people insured under ObamaCare

On the Dan Fagan/Glen Biegel show on Friday, GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan said repeatedly that ObamaCare had resulted in a higher rate of uninsured in this country. However, the verdict is in and it’s clear that his claim is simply not true. It remains to be seen whether Sullivan is too partisan and too stuck on the narrative to be able to admit that he’s wrong. From Politico: 

A survey by the Commonwealth Fund found that 9.5 million fewer adults are uninsured now than at the beginning of the Obamacare enrollment season. The Urban Institute’s Health Reform Monitoring Survey found a similar drop, with 8 million adults gaining coverage. And Gallup-Healthways survey reported that the uninsured rate has fallen to 13.4 percent of adults, the lowest level since it began tracking health coverage in 2008… In recent months, other surveys in the Gallup series have consistently found the same downward trend, and a RAND survey in April estimated that the law extended health coverage to 9.3 million Americans.


11 thoughts on “Verdict is in: More people insured under ObamaCare

  1. Jim Bob

    That radical leftist Rand Corporation sure is out to DestroyOurFreedom™. Thanks Glenn, we now know you’re voting Yes on 2. Dopehead.

  2. Lynn Willis

    Welcome to the world of spin. Amanda, you state that Sullivan supported the claim that: “Obamacare had resulted in a higher rate of uninsured in this country” which, as you point out, is not true. In fact, we have a lower rate of uninsured because more people are insured.
    Later Dan Fagan seems to want to reinstate the idea that Sullivan was correct when Dan writes: “I regret stating something that wan’t (sic)true on my show Friday. I had a medical doctor on my show earlier in the week and I simply repeated her claim that fewer are uninsured under Obamacare.” As I now understand the facts, the Dr. on Dan’s show turned out to be correct because there are indeed fewer uninsured. So if what Dan said was correct then why is Dan now apologizing for claiming his statement was incorrect?
    I suggest we henceforth refer to the number “insured”, or the number “not insured”;however, as has been pointed out, that is not not the best indicator of how this will work over time.

  3. Glen Biegel

    There is a lot more here than meets the eye. Here is a little more detail on the Rand ‘survey’.

    In Short, the survey requires people to answer if they have ‘insurance’. This would be based mostly on new employees getting access to employers insurance if the numbers can be believed. I’ll keep asking questions about it. We have someone on Tuesday to continue the discussion. It does make sense that the government requiring people to do something, and then providing ‘subsidies’ to 86% of enrollees would ensure there were more people with insurance, even if they didn’t want to lose their insurance, pay more for premiums, and have much higher costs for children. That doesn’t take into consideration the cost of ‘insuring’ these folks to everyone else, the increases in cost shifting in the system due to higher premiums, and the increases in cost due to higher emergency room usage all the way around.

    Good reporting Amanda. I will keep trying to tease more of the details here. I am convinced the ‘number of insured’ isn’t the best measure of success for system of healthcare.


  4. Mackie

    Have to admit that Fagan’s integrity has gone up in my mind based on his comment. BTW – enjoy your show.

  5. Mike Ventresca

    Dan, long time listener, first time writer.

    Can you please tell me who you get money from other than from your radio gig? I think you’d agree that it is only fair us listeners to know that. Casey Reynolds got money from the RNC, Dave Steron has a bunch of clients…what–if any– do you have? Moving to Alaska is expensive!



  6. Dan Fagan

    For the record I was the one on my show Friday that said fewer are uninsured under Obamacare. Dan Sullivan simply agreed.

    I did my research and found that Amanda Coyne was right and I was wrong about fewer being uninsured under Obamacare.

    The White refuses to say how many Obamacare enrollees were previously uninsured. Kind of curious don’t you think? But research Amanda references by unbiased polling firms does seem to indicate that we now have fewer uninsured among us.

    The polling shows that between 8 and 9.5 million fewer people are uninsured now compared to before Obamacare.

    The President brags about 8 million new enrollees under Obamacare but what he will not say is how many of those were previously uninsured. Why wouldn’t he tell us that? How many of the 8 million new enrollees lost their plan under Obamacare? You remember the “You can keep your doctor and plan” promise that ended up to be not true. Some estimate 6 million people lost their insurance because of Obamacare. It puts the 8 million sign up number in perspective doesn’t it?

    Is it possible fewer are uninsured because of our strengthening economy? Don’t know because the President won’t release the numbers.

    Frankly I should have know my contention that fewer are uninsured today under Obamacare was wrong. How could it not be? We have a law that mandates you get health insurance and threatens you with a tax if you don’t comply. It then offers to pay for your insurance with other people’s money for a large swath of the population.

    The fact that the number of uninsured in America has shrunk is hardly proof Obamacare is good policy. Especially when you consider the devastating impact it is having on businesses and their ability to hire new workers. Just ask a business owner adversely affected. They are not hard to find.

    I regret stating something that wan’t true on my show Friday. I had a medical doctor on my show earlier in the week and I simply repeated her claim that fewer are uninsured under Obamacare. I should have known better and vetted the comment. But that’s what separates Amanda from the rest of us. She’s very thorough and if you are going to debate her you better have your facts strait.

  7. Milton Friedman

    Out of the 47 million uninsured prior to passage. When you pass a law saying, “buy this product or face a fine” then you are probably going to see more people but the product because it is personally more affordable to purchase than to pay the fine. However, while there are 9.5 million insured who were previously uninsured, there still is not clarity regarding how many previously insured are now without insurance. Combine that with the uncertainty of what will happen when the law is fully implemented (remember the President has delayed many aspects of the law through executive fiat) and we are still in limbo concerning the full impact of this legislation. Dan should welcome a debate with Mark in the issue regardless of this report.

  8. Derp

    Ok, Sullivan has made a demonstrably false claim about a major issue. Not particularly interesting. What will be interesting is how he responds. If he comes out, admits his mistake and honestly re-evaluates his perspective– he doesn’t have to go anywhere close to Pro- obamacare, there are plenty of things actually wrong with it- I’ll be a Sullivan convert, and vote for him through the general. But I’m not holding my breath.

  9. Jay

    The ACA is far from perfect, as is most legislation; however, this bill provided for a massive expansion of affordable and meaningful health care. We now know, despite the utterances of some Republicans, that more people are insured now than before. Most importantly, those with pre-existing conditions can now find coverage. While I am not the biggest fan of Senator Begich’s, I’ll probably vote for him in November because of his vote for the ACA.

  10. Lynn Wilis

    Thank you Amanda for the follow up. How could the creation of this program not have insured more people? Until age 65, without a job, most Americans cannot obtain health insurance and this program made these folks eligible which had to be a significant number. Also consider just the population of young adults under age 26 now able to be insured by remaining on their parent’s policies. In Alaska, had Parnell opted for the Medicaid expansion, more Alaskans would have been eligible to obtain this insurance.
    The relative question is the cost and sustainability of Obamacare, not eligibility.
    Sullivan rode the wrong horse to this debate. As you stated Amanda, what does that bode for the future if Sullivan is satisfied to simply parrot the party line?

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