The Congressional Budget Office has projected that 13 million Americans will get health insurance because of Obamacare. Gallup’s numbers would correspond to a significantly smaller decline, although the numbers depend on what you choose as a starting point. Then again, Gallup’s numbers don’t account for the end of open enrollment—when, by all accounts, large numbers of people rushed to sign up for coverage. They also don’t account for a full year of enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, since people can sign up for those programs all year long.
Drum does some rough calculations:
Since the Gallup poll includes everyone, not just the nonelderly, this amounts to about 5.6 million people. However, note that this 5.6 million drop doesn’t include sub-26ers who are on their parents’ insurance, since that policy change had already taken effect by 2011. Nor does it include the entire late surge in Obamacare enrollment. Add those in and the real number is probably in the neighborhood of 8-9 million. By the end of the year, we should hit 10 million or so.
Allahpundit passes along less favorable estimates:
The AP’s back-of-the-envelope math based on Gallup’s numbers puts it in the ballpark of 3.5 million (i.e. 17.1 percent uninsured a few months ago versus 15.6 percent now). Rand’s recent study, which was completed before the big sign-up surge in late March, estimated that six million people had gained insurance under the law but that only two million of them had been previously uninsured.
Jonathan Bernstein advises, because of statistical noise, to “be very careful about these polling results.” His overall remains the same:
I see no reason to change my longstanding guess about the political effects if the ACA works as expected: Few voters will seek to reward Democrats no matter how successful the law turns out to be, but it will become increasingly difficult for Republicans to take away new benefits. But in terms of the policy, the only thing we’re really learning now is that claims that the law would collapse or that it was a flat-out failure are almost certainly wrong. We still have a long way to go before knowing anything else.