Fact-checking Obamacare Predictions
Politifact.com fact-checks Obamacare predictions five years in.
Predictions about the health care law were a dime a dozen back in 2010. Supporters contended that virtually everyone around the country would soon have access to affordable insurance. Opponents said the law would cost a fortune by adding to the national debt and killing jobs. Actually, none of those things have happened.
Once expected to insure 32 million new Americans by the end of the decade, the projected target has been downgraded to 27 million — far from the universal coverage many proponents hoped for. In five years, the law has steadily navigated toward its overall goal of decreasing the number of uninsured Americans, without dramatically disrupting the overall health care industry, for better or worse. Yet.
One of the warnings that the law’s opponents issued repeatedly in the months leading up to passage was that the health care law would kill jobs. In 2011, Republicans titled the repeal legislation they were pursuing the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” But independent studies didn’t back up the claims that the law would end up reducing employment, so PolitiFact has rated such statements False.
Last year, the GOP seized on a talking point that 2.3 million jobs would go away because of the health care law. But that, too, was a misreading of evidence. A nonpartisan report actually showed that some people would stop working if they no longer had to work for insurance. PolitiFact rated the claim Mostly False.
Undoubtedly, the law has led to fewer uninsured Americans. The percentage of uninsured adults in the United States in 2010 was 16.4 percent; at the end of 2014, it had fallen to 12.9 percent, its lowest point since Gallup started tracking the insured population in 2008.
However, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects there will still be roughly 31 million uninsured adults in the United States by 2025, demonstrating that any notion the law would create universal coverage was a pipedream.
Cross-posted from The Sensible Center