A word of caution involving Obamacare numbers

The latest print edition of National Review offers a warning about the numbers Obamacare supporters have been using to support the dubious notion that the law is working.

Apologists for Obamacare are saying that it has allowed 10 million people to gain health insurance. Don’t believe them. That number counts a lot of people who have simply re-enrolled in Medicaid. It counts everyone who is staying on his parents’ insurance until age 26, even people who were guaranteed that option by state law before Obamacare. It counts all the people who sign up for the exchanges as newly insured, even though McKinsey, a consultancy, has just estimated that only 11 percent of them lacked health insurance. It is entirely possible that Obamacare will not produce any net reduction in the number of uninsured Americans this year (and even more possible that it will produce no net reduction outside Medicaid). An administration official was quoted saying that Obamacare has achieved “preliminary sustainability.” Translation: We can’t say the law’s benefits are great, and we can’t say the costs are low, but we can can say that the law is here. Watch for this argument-from-the-status-quo to loom ever larger in the liberal rhetoric.

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