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We are in a series outlining the big ideas that would serve as the foundation for Tim’s proposed healthcare reform plan.  Click here to find the prior posts.

To continue our Monday review of CBO report…15 million more people will be uninsured next year under the Republican plan than under ObamaCare.  Let’s look at the three ‘causes’ that get us to that number.

First, 4 million fewer people will be on Medicaid.  OK, that one makes sense because central to the Republican plan is to roll back some of the Medicaid expansion that is going to blow up the deficit.

Next, 4 million people will lose coverage provided by their employer, ostensibly because removal of some of the ACA penalties will mean some evil employers will take back the coverage they recently granted.  And the unemployment rate is, what?  Yeah, give that a try and see what happens.  Mark this one as a ‘solid iffy’ for me.

But the real trickeration comes in the forecasted 7 million fewer that will sign up through the government marketplaces.  This is half of the year one spread and a third of the big, scary 2026 number.

Recall from Monday that the March 2016 forecast said we’d have 26 million uninsured in 2018 under ObamaCare.  That presumed there would be 18 million people signed up through the government marketplaces. But 2017 enrollment is only 12.2 million. 

Let’s put that in context by looking at marketplace enrollment, by year:

2014: 8.0 million

2015: 11.7 million

2016: 12.7 million

2017: 12.2 million

What, we have a new sales compensation plan that will drive 2018 sales?  You believe that 18 million number?  Not a chance.

So fully half of next year’s ‘gap’ and a third of the headline number being used to scare people and stir up progressive donors is total fiction, and another sizable component is suspect.

In spite of the egregious error, I don’t fault the CBO.  They are constrained by law as to how they have to conduct their analysis and it says they have to compare to their previous baseline.

But our media should be tarred and feathered for being so lazy and/or partisan.  Do your job and help educate the American people.  Heck, we did it in less than an hour of research and under 1,000 words across two blog posts.

Mostly, however, I point a finger (index, not that other one) at our elected officials.  Grow a brain and a backbone – in whichever order you wish, but soon.  We really need you, both sides, to stop playing political games with these simplistic headlines and fix this.  That is why we sent you up there.

OK, since that won’t happen, we’ll return Friday to Timmy’s Healthcare World and what he’d do.


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Tim Coan, ALN’s CEO, writes an insightful and witty blog three times a week about a variety of topics relevant to independent physician practices.

Yes, I'd like to get Tim's blog.