Will Obamacare Result in Fewer People with Health Care Insurance?



PRO (yes)

Greg Scandlen, Founder of Consumers for Health Care Choices, wrote in his Sep. 6, 2012 article "Will ObamaCare Really Insure the Uninsured?," available at www.healthblog.ncpa.org:

"Why bother paying for insurance if you can get it instantly if and when you need it? That is just money down the toilet. Why would anybody do that?

The tax penalties of the ACA are trivial, the subsidies are complicated, and the available plans will provide little value to most people. I don't need coverage for psych counseling and in vitro fertilization.

This is how many (most?) people think. So, I therefore believe the ACA will result in FEWER people being covered, not more.

We know, for instance, that one-third of the uninsured are already eligible for free coverage through Medicaid or SCHIP. Yet they do not enroll. What has changed to get them to enroll now?

We know that mandates never work. Typically 15% of the population ignores them. This is true of helmet laws, auto insurance laws, child support laws, even taxes. In some cases the penalty for violating them is severe, including jail time for the latter two. Yet still people violate them.”





John Merline, Senior Writer at Investor's Business Daily, wrote in his July 25, 2012 article “Could ObamaCare Make the Uninsured Problem Worse?," available at news.investors.com:

"ObamaCare will likely cover far fewer uninsured than advertised. There's even a chance that, if all goes wrong, it could actually make the uninsured problem worse.

The individual mandate, for example, is a cornerstone of ObamaCare's effort to expand coverage. But tax experts who've studied how the IRS will enforce the mandate conclude that it's likely to be ineffective, because the law makes it virtually impossible for the IRS to collect the tax penalty from those who don't pay it…

The problem is that if the mandate doesn't work, ObamaCare could make the uninsured problem worse, at least in the individual insurance market.

That's because ObamaCare's insurance market reforms — called ‘guaranteed issue' and ‘community rating' — force insurers to cover anyone, regardless of their health status, while forbidding them from charging the sick more than the healthy.”





Tony Francis, MD, orthopaedic surgeon, stated in his Aug. 7, 2012 article "ObamaCare the Death Star. Doomsday Machine Creating More Uninsured," available at www.boards.medscape.com:

"…there is a distinct possibility that ObamaCare will actually increase the number of uninsured. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is projecting there will be 30 million uninsured after the implementation of ObamaCare. What's up with that? I thought for all the effort, we would be insuring everyone. That assumes everything goes according to plan. But it could get worse. Since companies may end up paying a fine of a few thousand dollars, many are itching to dump their workers onto either Medicaid or the exchanges. But with no ability of the feds to make states pay for Medicaid, those workers will be out in the cold. As in 'no insurance.'

…If a company pays $10,000 dollars to insure a worker, but can pay $2,000 and dump them on Medicaid, that is what they will do. If the state doesn't have Medicaid, then the worker becomes uninsured.”





CON (no)

The Congressional Budget Office stated in its July 2012 report to Congress, "Estimates for the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act Updated for the Recent Supreme Court Decision," available at www.cbo.gov:

"CBO and JCT [Joint Committee on Taxation] now estimate that the ACA, in comparison with prior law before the enactment of the ACA, will reduce the number of nonelderly people without health insurance coverage by 14 million in 2014 and by 29 million or 30 million in the latter part of the coming decade...

The share of legal nonelderly residents with insurance is projected to rise from 82 percent in 2012 to 92 percent by 2022. According to the current estimates, from 2016 on, between 23 million and 25 million people will receive coverage through the exchanges, and 10 million to 11 million additional people will be enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as a result of the ACA."





The US Census Bureau, states in its Sep. 2012 report, "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011," available at www.census.gov:

"In 2011, the percentage of people without health insurance decreased to 15.7 percent from 16.3 percent in 2010. The number of uninsured people decreased to 48.6 million, down from 50.0 million in 2010.

... Among those aged 18 to 24 in 2010, the rate [of people who were uninsured] decreased to 27.2 percent from 29.3 percent in 2009... These age groups are of special interest because of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Children under the age of 19 are eligible for Medicaid/CHIP and individuals aged 19 to 25 may be a dependent on a parent's health plan."





Kevin Drum, Writer for Mother Jones, wrote in his Sep. 12, 2012 article "Thanks to Obamacare, the Ranks of the Uninsured Fell This Year," available at www.motherjones.com:

"For the first time in three years, the proportion of Americans with health insurance rose, from 83.7 percent in 2010 to 84.3 percent in 2011.

And what explains the shift? The breakdown by age offers some clues. Relative to last year, the percentage of young adults with health insurance rose by 2.2 percent. That was the largest increase of any group. And it was the second year in a row that coverage among young adults increased.... As you probably know, the Affordable Care Act allows young adults to enroll on their parents' health insurance plans if they have no access to coverage on their own. That provision surely doesn't account for all of the young adults getting coverage. But it almost certainly explains a lot of it.”