Mandates or Markets: What’s Driving Down the Uninsured Numbers? | Robert Nelson, MD | LinkedIn

Robert Nelson, MD

Here are some facts and some data from a Rand study published May 6, 2015:

  • ACA was signed into law in March of 2010.
  • The ACA insurance exchanges (referred to as ObamaCare) were launched in 2013 with first open enrollment starting in October of 2013 .
  • 22.8 million people gained coverage between September 2013 and February 2015 and 5.9 million lost their coverage for variety of reasons, for a net increase of 16.9 million new insured out of 42.7 million deemed uninsured.

There you have it!  ObamaCare is responsible for adding 16.9 million more people to the rolls of the insured. No debate needed.   

But what about the 4.4 million jobs that the market created between September 2013 and October 2015?  Those new jobs, combined with more workers returning to full-time work, led to a net of 8 million more people receiving employer-sponsored health benefits according to the Rand Study published in Heath Affairs.

John Graham of the National Center for Policy Analysis believes, as do many others, that if not for ObamaCare these job numbers and indeed the entire economy would be better off, including more covered by employer-sponsored benefits.

ObamaCare was not the only thing going on at the time of this study.  Excluding the 1st quarter of 2014, all of 2013 and 2014 recorded steady increases in GDP of about 3% each quarter.  Even though occurring at a slow pace compared to other recoveries, there was some degree of economic growth for the three years preceding the study; which does translate into job growth along with increasing benefits such as health coverage.  The beginning of persistently positive job growth started in December of 2010.

Here is a legitimate question everyone should be asking: What if the recession of 2008 had never happened, would we still have seen the same gains in insured status on net, regardless of the starting point?  We need to think through this in order to know the real effect of ObamaCare on increasing the number of insured.

Read more via Mandates or Markets: What’s Driving Down the Uninsured Numbers? | Robert Nelson, MD | LinkedIn.

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