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HomePolicyWhy Gallup Data On Uninsured And ObamaCare Don’t Jive With WH Claims

Why Gallup Data On Uninsured And ObamaCare Don’t Jive With WH Claims

A new Gallup survey on the uninsured and ObamaCare found the number of uninsured Americans has fallen to its lowest level in years, which Democrats lay at the feet of the Affordable Care Act. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index measured the number of adults without health insurance, which fell from 17.1 percent at the end of last year to 15.6 percent for the first three months of 2014.

While the number of uninsured Americans is at its lowest level since late 2008, before Obama took office, the numbers simply don’t jive with either the White House’s claims or admitted requirements for the law to remain sustainable. In fact, Gallup could only validate that the number of young and healthy sign-ups are lacking.

“While the Department of Health and Human Services’ April Enrollment Report has not yet been released, Gallup’s findings correspond with the government’s last report, showing only 25 percent of new enrollees as of Feb. 28 were in the 18-to-34 age range,” Gallup reported.

The Obama administration said 7.1 million have signed up for coverage through new insurance markets, while 3 million previously uninsured people gained coverage through the law’s Medicaid expansion. But a decline of 1.5 percentage points, which was reported by Gallup, would only translate into a bit more than 3.5 million people, total, gaining coverage.

So, why the disparity between reality and Obama’s claims?

First, HHS’s enrollment numbers include people who switched from their previous coverage or were cancelled due to the law. These are people who were already covered, but had their lives upended due to the Essential Health Benefit Standards mandated by ObamaCare. Second, the government’s numbers are include people who have not paid their first month’s premium, thus it is more than likely they are still uninsured.

“Regardless, the decline in the percentage of uninsured over the course of the first quarter almost certainly includes the effects of expanded Medicaid eligibility policies. It is also likely, in turn, that not all new enrollees will ultimately pay their insurance premiums, which would result in a subsequent change in status from insured to uninsured at some point later in 2014,” Gallup concludes.

We recently reported the number of Medicaid enrollments in states who opted to take federal money to expand Medicaid being over 8 percent higher than the previous year baseline, which will not be filled only with new enrollments. It is likely that the cost of ObamaCare has led many who previously paid for coverage to opt-instead for the free, lower quality Medicaid option.

Third, the White House touted in an email last week they are celebrating the coverage of minorities, but Hispanics remain more likely than any other racial or ethnic group to lack coverage. With a Spanish translated website still in fail mode, it is little wonder Hispanics, by far, are suffering to find access under the law, with a whopping 37 percent uninsured.

We, and others, have been reporting on the inflated numbers for months, and since a large amount is expected to miss payment within two months, success is premature. We likely will not have a good grip on the sustainability of the program until a year of data can be reviewed. Unfortunately, Democrats have promised millions of Americans Medicaid coverage with no way to pay for it. All the data, thus far, suggest the risk pool is a disaster. The headline in the Gallup survey may give superficial, skin-and-bones cause for Democrats to celebrate, but the meat in the data itself, is rotten.

Written by

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

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