02 Apr 2014 Health Care Odds & Ends: Bogus Numbers Edition
1. No, 3.1 Million Slackers Did Not Get Insurance Via Their Parents. I have a new National Policy Analysis up today examining the claim that 3.1 million previously uninsured young adults have gotten covered through their parents’ insurance thanks to Obamacare’s requirement that insurers extend coverage for dependent children up to age 26—also known as the “slacker mandate.” Suffice to say, the number doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Further, looking at Census Bureau data yields a very different result:
The Census Bureau shows that from 2009, the year before the slacker mandate began, to 2012, the number of uninsured 18-24-year-olds declined by about 976,000. But not all of those went onto their parents’ insurance. For that age group, Medicaid enrollment grew 271,000 and employer-based coverage increased 447,000 during that same period. That would mean that those newly insured by joining their parents’ coverage were at most 258,000.
You can also view it as an article at the American Spectator.
2. About That 7.1 Million… President Obama and his supporters are taking their victory lap. But the good news will be short lived. First off, we still don’t know how many people haven’t paid their first premium. If they never do, they won’t be enrolled. If that’s close to 20 percent, as the New York Timessuggests, then the true enrollment number will be closer to 5.6 million. At this point I’m betting slightly that the number may even be worse that that, since the Obama Administration tries hard not to release data that reflects poorly on ObamaCare and since the administration has shown no inclination to release data on how many have paid their premiums ever.
Second, we still don’t know how many people were previously uninsured before going on the exchange. Apparently the RAND corporation says it is about one-third, which would mean just under 2.4 million are now newly insured. However, even that number may be large, as other data has shown that those who were previously uninsured have a lower rate of paying their first premium on the exchange than those who were previously insured (see here). What we do know at this point is that the exchanges do not appear likely to become a powerful force for reducing the rate of the uninsured. Remember, the Congressional Budget Office most recently said that the exchanges would reduce the uninsured by 6 million. At present, the exchanges will be lucky to reach a third of that goal.
3. How ObamaCare Killed Her Dad. Finally, don’t miss Jeffrey Lord’s recent article in the American Spectator showing how a change in Medicare’s rules under ObamaCare resulted in the death of Amy DiFrancesca’s dad. Note: The piece is long, but it’s worth it.