The right can unskew all they want, but as with 2012, it won't make them win.
According to Hiltzik, there are five big claims:
- New enrollees won't end up paying their insurance bill: Given that the newest enrollees haven't even gotten bills yet, the only thing we can go on are payment rates earlier enrollees, and among them, 85-90 percent have paid on time.
- New enrollees already had insurance: There aren't reliable national statistics on this, but Kentucky and New York are both tracking stats to answer this question. Their findings? In Kentucky, 75 percent of new enrollees were uninsured. In New York it's 60 percent.
- Too few healthy young people are enrolling, which will cause a death spiral as insurance rates soar: The jury is still out on the number of young enrollees, but even if it stays at previous levels, it won't have a destabilizing effect on the system—in other words, no death spiral.
- More people were cancelled than enrolled: This is nothing more than a Ted Cruz applause line. No evidence suggests it's true. In fact, Hiltzik points to a Rand study showing at most 1 million policies were canceled and that insurers retained most of those customers by offering them better, ACA-compliant plans.
- The White House is cooking the books: This claim represents the distilled essence of the unskewers, but it's not only bogus (see 1-4) it's also absurd—as Hiltzik points out, the stats coming from states that ran their own exchanges are better than the stats coming from the Federal government. If the Feds were cooking the books, why would their numbers be worse than average?
What does this all mean? Well, as Salon's Brian Beutler puts it:
If conservatives can plod through the five stages of grief over these developments they’ll not only have to come to terms with larger enrollment figures than they believed possible, but that the Affordable Care Act is basically working as intended.Obamacare is here to stay and no amount of baloney from the right is going to change that fact. It's time for them to move on.