So, for a year and a half now, I've been plugging raw data into spreadsheets and meticulously tallying the health insurance comings & goings of pretty much every person outside of Medicare, traditional Medicaid, ESI and the Indian Health Service.
I've learned more about the different types of health insurance polices than I ever wanted to. Small group. Large group. Off-exchange. "Grandfathered" plans. "Transitional" plans. The Child Health Plus (CHP) program in New York (not to be confused with the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Basic Health Plan in Minnesota (MinnesotaCare). HMOs. PPOs. EMOs. "Sub26ers". Different Metal Levels.
And every step of the way, Conservatives have screamed, hooted and hollered about it, with one talking point or another. How many have signed up? How many have PAID? How many of those were PREVIOUSLY UNINSURED? How many of those are MEDICAID? etc, etc. Don't get me wrong: Those are all legitimate questions...but every time one was answered, they just moved on to the next attack, completely failing to acknowledge defeat on the prior one.
Critics say the report falls short because it is an extrapolation from Gallup surveys instead of being based on hard data. Edmund Haislmaier, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research group, said the report also doesn’t include essential information on how many people who signed up on exchanges were previously uninsured.
“It’s premature to say it’s ACA related,” Mr. Haislmaier said.
Right, I mean, who can really say? Yes, there has been a sudden and extremely sharp plunge in the uninsured rates among the populations eligible for coverage under Obamacare that begins at the exact time Obamacare took effect:
But that could be anything. Survey error. People being excited about Republicans winning the midterm. Sunspots. You never know. Probably not the sudden availability of a major new federal health-care law enrolling millions of people.
My vote is for sunspots.