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Monday, November 17, 2014

Waldmann V Waldman goes up past eleven

Ah I have a very minor disagreement with my fellow Waldman[n]. My usual complaint is that he, KagroX and Michael Waldman are more famous than I am (if you are asking "Who is Michael Waldman" then you just learned how obscure I am). It is a quibble with a surprisingly excellent post on why the extraordinarily successful health care reform remains unpopular. I write surprisingly, because this issue has been discussed so much that it is impossible to say anything really new, yet the post is written so well that I strongly advise clicking this link. Paul Waldman wrote "Add the success (so far) of open enrollment for next year to all the other good news about the ACA. We’ve had 10 million formerly uninsured Americans with coverage," The link leeds to a story reporting the Gallup study which estimated that there were about 10 million Americans *over the age of 18* newly insured due to the ACA *during 2014*. The Gallup estimate, therefore, didn't include people agend 18-26 who already had health insurance on December 31 2013, because the ACA required insurance companies to allow their parents to keep them on their parents' plans. Estimates of the effects this aspect of the ACA on the number insured range from one to three million. Also Gallup did not look at insurance of children. There are more people aged 18-64 than 0-17 and Medicaid and SCHIP caused the rate of non-insurance among children to be 10%: horribly high, but lower than the rate for non-elderly adults. Still the ACA probably has caused at least a million more children to have health insurance. So the correct estimate would be that the Gallup study suggests that 12-14 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured have coverage. In any case, "over 10 million" is a safe statement which is almost certainly accurate, while "10 million" is innaccurate.

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