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“20 million people gained healthcare due to Obamacare” , Not So Fast

March 16,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood Nj, you have heard it over and over again ,”20 million people gained healthcare due to Obamacare. This confirms that Obamacare was successfully addressing the underlying problems within the healthcare market.”

The reality is far different ,the majority of these people were simply placed on an expanded version of Medicaid, meaning, rather than addressing the issues plaguing the dysfunctional healthcare market, Obamacare did little to improve markets and simply pushed people into government-run healthcare, paid by taxpayers.

People keep touting, as though it were some sort of success story, that “more people have health insurance today due to Obamacare.” This particular talking point seems astonishingly absurd, however, since Obamacare contained within it a MANDATE that FORCED people to get health insurance. Of course, if you put a gun to someone’s head and tell them to buy something, they’re more likely to buy it. This is akin to passing a law requiring everybody to buy one additional pair of shoes, then proclaiming yourself a business genius because you then saw shoe sales increase. If sales didn’t increase because the product became more affordable or more desirable, however, it should be obvious that you didn’t actually “fix” anything.

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

• A 2015 estimate showed that, of the 20 million newly insured people, 14.5 million were put on Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). [a]

• Of this 14.5 million placed on tax-payer financed health insurance, about 3.4 million were previously eligible before Obamacare [b], but hadn’t enrolled because they didn’t need it. That means tax payers are paying the health insurance costs of 3.4 million people who knew they didn’t actually need it but were forced to accept the hand-out anyways since Obamacare mandates they have insurance.

• Additionally, of the 20 million, 2.3 million were simply young adults (aged 19 to 25) who gained coverage between 2010 and 2013 as a result of Obamacare’s provision which said they got to stay on their parent’s insurance until they were 26. [c] People 19-25 rarely require extensive healthcare, however, which is why they rarely choose to buy it themselves. So while letting them stay on their parent’s insurance may have been helpful in a handful of circumstances, it was mostly “fixing” a problem which did not exist. Matter of fact, the reason the ACA wanted younger people insured was precisely BECAUSE they don’t get sick enough to cost money, and thus represent income for health insurance providers rather than costs.

• Lastly, in 2016, the numbers didn’t look much better. Preliminary data indicated that net total enrollment increased by “2,535,020 individuals in the first three-quarters of 2016.” [d] But of that 2.5 million increase, the net increase in PRIVATE (market) insurance was actually only “490,211 individuals.” Again, Medicaid accounted for “81 percent of the incremental growth in enrollment in 2016.” [d]

Thus, roughly 81% of the newly insured people in 2016 were simply given free insurance which everyone else funded. How is that a success? A successful reform would have seen people affording their own private health insurance – when and only IF they wanted it – because the product would have gotten better, cheaper, or both. Instead, since that wasn’t accomplished, Obamacare simply pushed people into government-run insurance to pretend it had “solved” the problem. It was called “The AFFORDABLE Care Act,” but a more appropriate name would have been “The Forced Welfare Expansion Act.”