Obamacare Notches Another Win. Are You Tired of Winning Yet?

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


I’ve mentioned before that one of the reasons Obamacare signup rates are below projections is because employer coverage is above projections. Back in 2010, analysts assumed that employers would steadily drop health coverage and simply pay their employees to buy insurance on the exchanges. But that hasn’t happened—and that’s a good thing.

Now the New York Times has joined the party, so maybe everyone else will start to get this too:

The surprise turnaround adds to an emerging consensus about the contentious health law: It has not upturned the core of the country’s health insurance system, even while insuring millions of low-income people.

….About 155 million Americans have employer-based health insurance coverage in 2016, according to an analysis released by the Congressional Budget Office last month. The number will fall to 152 million people in 2019, the C.B.O. estimates, but will remain stable through 2026. Slightly more than half of people under 65 will be enrolled in employment-based coverage.

Employers seem to be staying the course even more strongly than they did before the law. The percentage of adults under 65 with employer-based insurance held firm for the last five years after steadily declining since 1999, according to an analysis of federal data released last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which closely tracks the health insurance market.

The CDC has been tracking health coverage for years, and their numbers show that private coverage (not including exchanges) has gone up since Obamacare went live. These numbers include both employer coverage and private coverage purchased off-exchange, but employer coverage is by far the biggest component and there’s no special reason to think that off-exchange individual coverage has increased much. This provides a very strong indication that the employer market has stayed healthy, and the CBO report confirms this.

If you want to know how Obamacare is doing, don’t look at Obamacare enrollments compared to early projections. Instead, look at the total uninsured rate compared to early projections. That’s the only number that provides a comprehensive look at all forms of health insurance and how they’ve done compared to predictions. When you do that, you’ll find that Obamacare is actually doing a little better than anyone thought it would.

To paraphrase a prominent politician, I wonder if Obamacare’s critics are tired of losing all the time? If so, come on over to the side of light and goodness. You’ll win so much you’ll get tired of winning.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate