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PolitiFact.com says it is “False” that millions could lose their coverage and be forced into a government pool. What say you?

Welcome to VoteFacts.  Once again it is time to fact-check the writers at PolitiFact.com.  They told their readers that this statement is False.

"Millions could lose their health care coverage and be forced into a government pool."

You should read the entire PolitiFact post, but basically they go into their usual word dance, never mentioning the estimates by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  So, here is the CMS report from as early as one month after the new law was signed.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), April 2010

"Of the additional 34 million people who are estimated to be insured in 2019 as a result of the PPACA (ObamaCare), a little more than one-half (18 million) would receive Medicaid coverage due to the expansion of eligibility to adults under 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).  About 2 million people who currently have employer-sponsored health insurance are estimated to enroll in Medicaid as a supplement to their existing coverage. 

A number of workers who currently have employer coverage would likely become enrolled in the expanded Medicaid program or receive subsidized coverage through the Exchanges. For example, some smaller employers would be inclined to terminate their existing coverage, and companies with low average salaries might find it to their—and their employees’—advantage to end their plans, thereby allowing their workers to qualify for heavily subsidized coverage through the Exchanges. Somewhat similarly, many part-time workers could obtain coverage more inexpensively through the Exchanges or by enrolling in the expanded Medicaid program.  

CMS estimates that such actions would collectively reduce the number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage by about 14 million, or slightly more than the number newly covered through existing and new employer plans under the PPACA."

Note that many individuals who lose their employer coverage and are forced into the exchanges with a federal subsidy might consider that subsidy part of the "government pool" - particularly since the funding for that subsidy is from, well, the government (aka, taxpayers).   Many may not, but that is individual opinion.

So, CMS did not put an exact "millions" number on it, they just said that about 18 million of the newly insured would be insured through Medicaid, and, "a number" of workers currently with employer coverage would likely be enrolled in Medicaid, "some" smaller employers might eliminate their plans, and about 14 million fewer would have employer coverage.  Since CMS did not give an exact number, it could be millions, they did not specify.  

It is a wonder, once again, how PolitiFact writers know better than the CMS and can therefore tell their readers that it is False, rather than say, "Possibly True", "Maybe False", "Impossible To Say" that millions will lose what they have and be forced onto Medicaid or the exchanges with federal subsidies.  Where IS that crystal ball they have?

It is also important to note that this PolitiFact report is from 2012 and they mention Obama's "You can keep your plan" promise.  Interestingly, they did not "rate" that statement until 2013, when it won the Lie of the Year award.  Unfortunately for their readers, they could have fact-checked that claim way back in April of 2010, but for some reason, they chose not to? 

Resource Links

CMS, Pages 5-6

PolitiFact Report

Politifact is a registered trademark of the Tampa Bay Times and the Times Publishing Company, St. Petersburg, FL.

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PolitiFact is wrong, they cannot declare that it is False that millions will lose their coverage and be forced into a government pool. Agree or Disagree?
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Voting Key


Fact = 100% - 92% True
Mostly Fact = 91% - 75% True
Slightly Fact = 74% - 60% True
Split = 59% - 50% True
Slightly Fiction = 49% - 30% True
Mostly Fiction = 29% - 10% True
Fiction = 9% - 0% True