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U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (C) pauses between answers to questions during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 10, 2013. U.S. House of Representatives Republicans are still weighing a short-term debt-limit increase, pos
House Speaker John Boehner made a stark statement last week, saying that Obamacare had resulted in a net loss in people with health insurance.
“I believe that to be the case. When you look at the 6 million Americans who have lost their policies and some—they claim 4.2 million people who have signed up—I don’t know how many have actually paid for it—that would indicate to me a net loss of people with health insurance. And I actually do believe that to be the case.”
Well, that one doesn't even require a professional fact-checker, since a very big chunk of those "6 million" (it's actually closer to 5 million) people who lost those policies were moved automatically into other policies with the same companies. But let's let the professional do his thing anyway, since that's what he's paid for. The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler, with a shout-out to Kossack Brainwrap:
Taking the lowest-range estimates, we still end up with nearly 9 million people added to the insurance rolls, more than enough to swamp Boehner’s 6 million figure, which as we noted is a pretty useless number to begin with.
  • 3.4 million — sign-ups, assuming 80 percent paid, though February
  • 2.4 million — lowest estimate for new Medicaid enrollment through January
  • 2.2 million — young adults added to parents’ plans (2010 average to first two quarters of 2013)
  • 500,000 — off-exchange enrollments

Charles Gaba, a blogger who has tracked the state-by-state numbers at, including known off-exchange enrollments, meanwhile calculates the actual current figure though mid-March at nearly 14 million. Even if you take a conservative estimate for paid plans and reduce the number of young Americans added to plans, you end up with about 13 million. That makes Boehner’s “net loss” claim seem especially absurd.
"Useless" and "absurd" pretty much sums up the whole of Boehner's tenure in leadership, and certainly his approach to Obamacare.

This part is fun, too: "Boehner’s staff did not want to engage The Fact Checker in a discussion about the speaker’s math." That could be restated just as truthfully that Boehner's staff did not want to engage in the facts. Nothing new there.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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