Rand estimates that another 9 million Americans have bought coverage directly from insurance companies, although many of those were previously insured. Overall, the uninsured rate has dropped from an estimated 20.9 percent to 16.6 percent in the law’s first year — hardly the sudden revolution in American health care some dreamed of, but a creditable start.
What’s more, the numbers are dramatically better in states that worked to implement rather than obstruct the Affordable Care Act. New York State told CNBC that 59 percent of those buying health insurance through the state’s marketplace had been previously uninsured. In Kentucky, it’s 75 percent — immeasurably improving the lives of rural Kentuckians particularly.
How long will their neighbors, in, say, Tennessee be able to hold out against Obamacare as word gets around?
So how are Republicans whose congressmen have voted 50 times to repeal the law handling the unwelcome good news? About the way they dealt with allegedly “skewed” poll numbers back in 2012. Who can forget the Weekly Standard’s bold election eve prediction? “New Projection of Election Results: Romney 52, Obama 47.” According to pundit Fred Barnes, a 10-point Romney landslide was entirely likely.
The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn summarizes: “[Republicans] are doing what they almost always do when data confounds their previously held beliefs. They are challenging the statistics — primarily, by suggesting that most of the people getting insurance already had coverage. Some, like Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, say the administration is ‘cooking the books.’ Others, like Senator Ted Cruz, say that the number of people without insurance is actually rising.”
We await Sen. Cruz’s thunderous proof.
Meanwhile, something else that’s been happening right in the face of all those Koch-financed “Americans for Prosperity” ads lamenting that the Affordable Care Act “just doesn’t work,” is that the law’s popularity among the public has been steadily rising. The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll released this week shows Obamacare supported by more Americans than oppose it, albeit by a scant margin of 49 percent to 48 percent.