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Sunday, October 23, 2016

The RAND Corporation is out with new Obamacare enrollment numbers today, based on their latest survey of the health insurance market. The key takeaway is that the study estimates a 9.3 million net gain of people with health insurance from September 2013 to March 2014. But there are more nuanced findings to be noted.

There is a significant caveat in the study’s numbers: the sample size of the survey is small, which leads to a large margin of error. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 million, meaning the enrollment numbers could be as high as 12.8 million or as low as 5.8 million.

The report shows that about 5 million people have gained insurance through the Medicaid expansion. This is slightly smaller than other estimates, but not by much. Furthermore, the number of people who have gained insurance from their employers — 8.2 million; 7.2 million of whom were previously uninsured — is very encouraging for supporters of the Affordable Care Act.


This number, if proven correct, puts a damper on a talking point used to attack Obamacare. Ever since the Affordable Care Act was passed and upheld by the Supreme Court, conservatives have warned there would be a significant decrease in employer-sponsored coverage (ESC), resulting in a net loss of those with health coverage. The fact that as many as 8.2 million people have gained health insurance under ESC shows an unexpected success story of the Affordable Care Act.

The number of those who gained health insurance through the marketplace lagged, according to the data: just 3.9 million. But just 1.4 million of those who signed up through the marketplace did not have health insurance previously. This number is lower than data released by the federal government, in part because it does not account for the surge in marketplace enrollment in late March.

Nevertheless, surveys like this show the unexpected and beneficial outcomes of the Affordable Care Act. As President Obama and Democrats have touted in the past, a combination of factors included in the law are going to lead to Obamacare’s success.

This study may signal a number of key parts of the law in action for the first time, resulting in a large uptick in the amount of people with health insurance in the United States.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • paulyz

    Another very misleading statement b the National Memo. The news today had just stated that 2/3 of the newly insured people were NOT from Obamacare, but by now being on Medicaid or a private insurer thru work. Please quit trying to mis-inform people to sell Obamacare. Now we have even more people on health welfare…..

    • Marilyn

      Medicaid expansion and requirements for employers with certain numbers of employees to provide insurance were aspects of ACA. So I don’t understand your objections to these figures.

    • dpaano

      paulyz: Please go back to your comic book and do the research….first of all, most of the people on Medicare got that advantage through the ACA. Secondly, employers don’t provide insurance through Medicaid. Thirdly, you might want to go back and see what’s happening to people in the states that opted out of the ACA….how many people were knocked off Medicare totally and are totally without health insurance at all! Again, go back to your comic book and quit trying to continually show your stupidity through your inane comments here. These people on this post are intelligent….something you have little of! Just my opinion!

  • Kurt CPI

    Over all is sounds very encouraging. We ‘ll have to see if this is flawed, spun, tainted or what have you. But there are contradictory reports on almost every aspect of these figures, so I’m not rushing to judgment.

  • dpaano

    It should be VERY interesting to see what would happen if the GOP made ANY attempt to repeal the ACA!!! Would be a sight to see and most likely the end of the GOP party entirely!!

  • [email protected]

    If the red states implemented the health insurance law the numbers would be far higher. It is difficult to give credence to a political party that has done everything to torpedo a plan and then sit back and criticize that same plan. But the end result will be that the health care provided in the red states will suffer and eventually they will come and start embracing the law under pressure of their health providers.