Nancy Pelosi: Number of Newly Insured Under Obamacare Irrelevant
The Obama Administration and their allies in Congress are now proudly proclaiming that 7.1 million Americans have enrolled in Obamacare. But when confronted about what the number actually means at a news conference Monday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) 14% dodged the question. She said that Democrats passed Obamacare not to insure the uninsured but to give people quality affordable health care.
When asked, “Isn’t the real measure of success not the raw number who signed up, but how many who signed up were not insured before?” she responded, “No,” before going into a long winded, inaccurate defense of the law.
This new found nonchalance regarding insuring the uninsured is a change of tune. In 2010, the Obama Administration said Obamacare would “reduce the number of uninsured Americans by 32 million.”
In 2009, then-Speaker Pelosi sent out a press release boasting of a Commonwealth Fund report that Obamacare would provide nearly 14 million uninsured young adults with health insurance.
To claim that she and other Democrats didn’t use the idea of insuring the uninsured to sell Obamacare to the American public is demonstrably false.
The truth is, it’s unclear how many of the 7.1 million insured by Obamacare were actually previously uninsured — and that is embarrassing and inconvenient for the left.
The Administration can’t (or won’t) tell us how many Americans now insured by Obamacare were previously uninsured or whether they simply lost their original plan and were therefore forced to purchase a plan on the Obamacare exchange. They also haven’t said how many of the 7.1 million people have paid, which is why Charles Krauthammer dismissed it as a “phony number.”
And to Mrs. Pelosi’s second point that the Affordable Care Act would reduce health care costs in America, nothing indicates that Obamacare will produce that result.
On the contrary, the glaring lack of competition in the Obamacare exchanges will result in higher costs. Heritage Foundation analysts have demonstrated that health care premiums for individuals will increase under Obamacare in most states, especially for young people. Obamacare also creates two new entitlements and adds more than $1.8 trillion in new spending by 2023.