The major stated purpose of ObamaCare was to increase the number of people with health care coverage. The crisis-level number of “uninsured” changed frequently throughout 2009, depending on whether the President thought he could get away with including illegal aliens. About 10 million of them were included in the commonly cited “47 million uninsured” figure.
In December 2010, after a deeply flawed study was bandied about claiming that the number of uninsured Americans was now over 50 million, Jeffrey Anderson at the Weekly Standard picked the numbers apart. In addition to the 10 million illegal aliens, he discovered the ranks of the “uninsured” were also stuffed with 8 million Medicaid patients, 11 million people who live in households earning over $75,000 per year (and generally rate the quality of their health care as “good” to “excellent”) and several million “phantom uninsured” created by statistical variances in Census reports.
When all these people are stripped away, Anderson wrote, we are left with “something on the order of 12 million Americans who are uninsured, and unhappy with their health care – less than 5 percent of the citizenry.” Many of those people were unemployed, so decoupling insurance from employment, by allowing people to purchase their own health insurance with pre-tax dollars, would have solved a great deal of the problem – especially if implemented alongside simple market-based reforms such as allowing insurance to be sold across state lines, and cracking down on malpractice lawsuit abuse.
As a wholly owned subsidiary of the trial lawyers lobby, the Democrats certainly weren’t going to allow that. Instead we got the gigantic, insanely expensive, hideously corrupt ObamaCare program, which has been decomposing right before our eyes. This has been an especially bad week for the rapidly dwindling defenders of Obama’s “signature reform,” as the Congressional Budget Office has been releasing some devastating projections of exploding cost and declining quality.
The latest revelation, reported at The Hill, is that ObamaCare could cause up to 20 million Americans to lose their health care coverage. There is a “tremendous amount of uncertainty” in the forecast, which is just what our fragile Obamanized economy needs right now, but 20 million is the CBO’s worst-case estimate. Maybe it will only be 3 to 5 million people.
The CBO is actually being very, very conservative in its damage estimates, as industry groups think ObamaCare will nuke closer to 50 million employer-provided policies over the next decade. Amusingly, the CBO points to RomneyCare in Massachusetts as “one piece of evidence that may be relevant” to its projections, as “employment-based health insurance appears to have increased since that state’s reforms.” It will be super awesome to hear Romney debate this with Obama.
ObamaCare kills health insurance by dumping so many mandates on employers that it becomes attractive for them to escape by dropping insurance coverage altogether. Even the CBO’s worst-case projections are underestimating the effect this will have on health insurance, in years to come. What do you think will happen to insurance companies that swiftly lose millions of customers to the “public exchanges?” What will happen to the prices they charge to their diminished customer base… and how will that, in turn, influence other businesses trying to decide whether dropping coverage makes sense?
It is nevertheless significant that the Congressional Budget Office, with its typical static-analysis caution, is predicting that ObamaCare might create a number of uninsured that dwarfs the uninsured population it was ostensibly created to help. If Obama’s true agenda is to destroy private health insurance and clear the way for a socialized medicine takeover, everything is proceeding according to plan.
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