The law that the Republican Party tried to repeal 50 times now covers 20 Million Americans, according to the most prestigious medical journal in the country.
From last week's report by the New England Journal of Medicine:
Taking all existing coverage expansions together, we estimate that 20 million Americans have gained coverage as of May 1 under the ACA (Figure 3Figure 3Categories of Expanded Health Insurance Coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).). We do not know yet exactly how many of these people were previously uninsured, but it seems certain that many were. Recent national surveys seem to confirm this presumption. The CBO projects that the law will decrease the number of uninsured people by 12 million this year and by 26 million by 2017. Early polling data from Gallup, RAND, and the Urban Institute indicate that the number of uninsured people may have already declined by 5 million to 9 million and that the proportion of U.S. adults lacking insurance has fallen from 18% in the third quarter of 2013 to 13.4% in May 2014.Despite these staggering numbers, Republicans can point to some success. According to the Journal, Republicans have kept 5,000,000 people from receiving the health care they need, and that Americans in many Democratic states now enjoy:
However, these surveys may underestimate total gains, since some were fielded before the late March enrollment surge and do not include children. With continuing enrollment through individual marketplaces, Medicaid, and SHOP, the numbers of Americans gaining insurance for the first time — or insurance that is better in quality or more affordable than their previous policy — will total in the many tens of millions.
Despite the economic and health care rationale for expanding Medicaid, state officials who are opposed to the ACA have refused to allow this expansion in many states. In such states, people with incomes at or above 100% of the federal poverty level can apply for subsidies for private plans in the marketplaces. But those with incomes below the poverty level cannot apply for such subsidies, since drafters of the ACA assumed that the poor would be eligible for Medicaid. In the states that have not yet expanded their programs, nearly 5 million uninsured people with low incomes are expected to be left out of the new coverage options this year.Nobel prize winning Economist, Paul Krugman, interviewed today on CNN, says that despite all the Republican naysaying and lies about the Affordable Care Act, it is actually surpassing expectations:
There were a bunch of things that Obamacare was supposed to do in its first year. It was supposed to sign up a lot of people through the exchanges, through people buying, essentially, private insurance, but through the government-run exchanges. It was supposed to insure a bunch of additional people through Medicaid. It was supposed to do this without causing a spike in health care costs. It was supposed to substantially reduce the number of people who are uninsured. All of those things have happened.Krugman notes that while premiums continue to rise, they were positively skyrocketing before the Affordable Care Act. If anything, their rise has begun to diminish:
The aggregate data shows something which has got people pinching themselves, which is health care costs are growing so slowly, it's really hard to believe. Medicare is currently spending about $1,000 less per beneficiary than what's projected just four years ago. So Medicare is way down. It's aggregate health expenditures is growing much more slowly. Premiums are rising, but premiums have risen every year forever…They seem, if anything, to be rising more slowly than before.Meanwhile the Courts threw out another anti-Obamacare lawsuit yesterday, this one by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson.
A federal judge on July 21 dismissed a U.S. senator's lawsuit challenging a requirement that congressional members and their staffs to obtain government-subsidized health insurance through small business exchanges, saying the senator had no grounds to sue.
Johnson's belief that subsidies provided to lawmakers and their staffs are illegal isn't a strong enough reason to disqualify him from the rule put in place under the Affordable Care Act, Griesbach said. The judge also said Johnson failed to show voters would view him negatively if his staff received subsidized insurance.Another waste of tax dollars avoided.