Report: Millions Losing Private Coverage Under Obamacare

A net 9 million Americans have lost private health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, the Weekly Standard reported. But many have moved to the public dole.

The analysis based on Congressional Budget Office reports found that a net 5 million people lost employer-based health insurance because of Obamacare and another 4 million lost individually purchased plans.

This photo of part of the HealthCare.gov website is photographed in Washington, on Nov. 29, 2013. The beleaguered health insurance website has had periods of down times as as the government tries to fix the problems. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
AP Photo/Jon Elswick

What has expanded is public coverage. In 2013, the CBO estimated that 34 million people would be on either Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, in 2016. The new estimate is double that, at 68 million.

The 2013 CBO estimates that projected that 201 million Americans would have private health insurance plans by 2016 were also way off the mark. Today, the CBO says the number is actually 177 million, a shortfall of 24 million.

From The Weekly Standard:

To be clear, the CBO — which has very generously labeled Obamacare’s direct subsidies to insurance companies as “tax credits,” even though sending money to insurers doesn’t lower anyone’s taxes — isn’t openly declaring that Obamacare has reduced the number of people with private health insurance or that it has doubled the number of people on Medicaid or CHIP. Rather, the CBO maintains that Obamacare has actually increased the number of people with private health insurance by 9 million and has increased the number of people on Medicaid or CHIP by (just) 13 million. But it would seem that the only reason the CBO can make these claims is that it has moved the goalposts.

That is, the CBO has significantly altered its estimates for what 2016 would have looked like if Obamacare had never been passed. In 2013, the CBO projected that, in the absence of Obamacare, 186 million people would have had private health insurance in 2016, and 34 million people would have been on Medicaid or CHIP. The CBO now maintains that, in the absence of Obamacare, only 168 million people would have had private health insurance in 2016 (a reduction of 18 million people from its 2013 projection), while 55 million people would have been on Medicaid or CHIP (an increase of 21 million people from its 2013 projection).

53 Comments