4.9 Million People lost their Health Insurance due the New Law…But…How many aren’t actually covered today?

The Washington Post Fact Checker people are out with a post that points to the ambiguity of the argument about ‘how many people lost insurance vs how many enrollments’…..

The piece points out that why House Speaker made the enrollment vs lost statement….

He didn’t mention that 3.9 million people are now enrolled in Medicaid which will afford them free healthcare coverage…..

Nor did he mention the fact that 2.3 million of the people who had cancellation letter actually where moved to better healthcare plans by their insures…..

Things are NOT what appear to be in this …..

The Law and the whole thing IS complex and complicated….

In reality, many people who received notices that their plans were canceled were told they would be automatically enrolled into another plan by the same insurance company. (Here’s an example of such a letter, courtesy of our colleagues at PolitiFact.)

In other words, the person’s health plan was “canceled” but the person was not left “without coverage,” as the Daily Caller asserted. There likely was a seamless transition from one plan to the other, though the premiums might have increased because the ACA requires all plans to have the same basic level of benefits.

This all goes back to President Obama’s pledge that “if you like your plan, you can keep it.” The Fact Checker gave that claim Four Pinocchios and placed it at the top of thebiggest Pinocchios of the year.

Of course, not everyone ended up with essentially the same plan — or liked the options, either from their insurance company or the Obamacare exchanges. Under intense political pressure, the White House ordered an administrative fix that, depending on the actions of individual states, allowed as many as 2.3 million people with “canceled plans” to simply stay on their old plan for at least another year. Thus they also did not lose coverage, contrary to the Daily Caller’s claim.

(Before the controversy ever erupted publicly, many states allowed “early renewals” that in effect allowed people to keep their old plans, usually through the end of 2014. Administration officials thus argue it was not a new concept but basically an extension of an existing timeline.)

Just before the holidays, the administration announced a new catastrophic exemption to fill any remaining gaps in coverage — estimated to affect as many as 500,000 people.

Though Boehner’s tweet had the same wording as the headline for the Daily Caller’s wrong-headed article, spokesman Brendan Buck says the speaker’s main point is that there were “more private plans canceled than private plans enrolled in Obamacare.”

Buck said that there is a “Democratic mindset that as long as there is another plan they’ve found — whether Obamacare, re-enrollment, or the new catastrophic exemption — that negates the fact that people had the plan they had — and potentially liked — canceled in the first place. From our perspective, that is nothing to overlook. In fact, it goes to one of our central arguments against the law — the government deciding what constitutes health coverage. The president promised people could keep their plans. And in astounding numbers that proved not to be true.”

Buck’s point is certainly a valid argument, but the problem is that Boehner’s statement (and those of other GOP lawmakers) could be interpreted as saying what the Daily Caller article incorrectly asserted — that millions of people are lacking coverage, as opposed to being forced into coverage they may not have wanted. (Boehner’s tweet did link to the article, after all.)

Indeed, the number of people who thus far have signed up to receive insurance through the exchanges (2.1 million) is merely a subset of the number of people whose plans were canceled (4.7 million); it makes little sense to compare them because the number of people on exchanges will always be a smaller number than the number of people whose plans were not compliant with the law. It’s kind of like saying the number of people who only eat apples is smaller than the number of people who only eat apples, oranges or bananas.


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