Percentage of Health-Uninsureds in U.S. Rises by 1.7%

Since Obama First Promised to Lower It by 100%

Eric Zuesse

On 23 June 2015, Bloomberg news bannered “Uninsured Rate Falls to Lowest Since Obamacare Implementation” and reported that, “Last year, 16.3 percent of adults under age 65, or about 31.7 million people, lacked medical coverage, according to a CDC survey published Tuesday. That’s down from 20.4 percent a year earlier [2013, when Obamacare started].” 

However, back at the start of 2008, when Barack Obama was campaigning against Hillary Clinton and they were both promising “Making health insurance universal” (The New York Times said that Obama “aims for universal coverage”) or a 0% rate of uninsureds, the most-reliable figure at that time for the percentage who had no health insurance was Gallup’s: 14.6%. Comparing that with the just-released figure from the CDC of 16.3%, there has been a rise in uninsureds, of 1.7%. (However, the latest figure from Gallup is from March 2015, 12.9%, which is a decline of 1.7% from that initial 14.6%, instead of an increase of 1.7% from it.)

What happened since 2008 was that, when Obama became elected in November of that year, the Gallup percentage started rising to a peak of 18.0% in October 2013, when Obamacare first began enrolling people; and it has declined since that time, back down to (according to Gallup in March this year) 12.9%.

Apparently, when Obama became elected, millions of Americans dropped their insurance in the expectation that much better policies (including a public option) would soon become available — those people didn’t want to lock themselves into anything during that interim, while there was uncertainty as to what would soon become available. As the delays in Obamacare became unexpectedly extended until October 2013, more and more people simply became uninsured — waiting for something better. Obama is now comparing that peak versus the latest figures in order to show (by focusing on a claimed decline in uninsureds) that his promise of “Universal Coverage” hasn’t been a total lie — which it is, and was. The media play along with his fraud.

What Bloomberg and other news-media are now doing is to stenographically report the Administration’s deceptions, by comparing the latest percentage to the peak percentage — which was about 17% in 2013 according to Gallup, or about 20% in 2013 according to CDC, which always shows around 3% higher figures than Gallup. That peak was artificially inflated by the accumulation of people waiting for Obamacare before making renewal-commitments; so, comparing to that peak in order to indicate progress at bringing the rate down in comparison to the situation that existed in 2008 is fraudulent.

Honest would be to compare the 2008 uninsureds-rate versus the latest uninsureds-rate. (After all: 2008 is when the promise of “Making health insurance universal” was being made, and upon which voters were relying. It wasn’t being made in 2013 — five years after the election. The 2013 figure is irrelevant.) The latest percentage of uninsureds according to the CDC’s just-released figure was actually 16.3% (which covered throughout all of 2014), but the latest figure in the Gallup survey, March 2015, was 12.9%. The CDC figures appear steadily to be approximately 3% higher than Gallup’s. If the actual uninsureds-rate back in 2008 was 3% higher than Gallup’s 14.6%, or was 17.6%, and if the March 2015 rate was not Gallup’s 12.9% but instead was also 3% higher, or 15.9%, then the March 2015 uninsureds-rate is actually 1.7% lower than was the rate in 2008 — and that’s probably the best possible way to estimate the effect that Obamacare has thus far had on the numbers of uninsured persons: The uninsureds-percentage is probably around 1.7% lower now than it was then.

The Bloomberg News report goes on to say that, “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has helped many Americans get health insurance, including about 10 million through new markets with government subsidies, and millions more through an expansion of Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor.” Bloomberg’s stenographic report from the Administration further makes clear that some Republican-controlled states have tried to sabotage the ability of Obamacare (“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”) to reduce the numbers of uninsureds. However, that Republican effect nationwide actually accounts for very little of Obama’s failure to have lived up to his promise of “Universal Coverage,” which (100% insureds) is something that all other industrialized nations (and some non-industrialized nations) already have. Obama’s plan (which was virtually identical to Hillary Clinton’s and to John Edwards’s) simply wasn’t even designed so as to make universal insurance possible. He (and they) simply lied to Democratic voters, in order to win the Party’s nomination.

Voters were treated like suckers by all of the well-funded candidates. It was a lying-contest (just as the Republican campaigns were). And, subsequently President Obama’s Solicitor General presented an argument to the U.S. Supreme Court that political lying is protected speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, so that no state may legislate any restrictions against it. The Court ruled unanimously in favor of that view as constituting the Founders’ conception of our ‘democracy’ — essentially dictating that ‘democracy’ should be a lying-contest (as if that’s what our Founders had in mind). This is the view that liberals and conservatives — as represented by ‘our’ Government today — now hold about “democracy.” Essentially, they despise democracy, if they even think it’s possible at all. However, regardless of whether democracy exists, it certainly doesn’t exist in the U.S. (even though many people here who should know better continue to say that it does — but maybe they too endorse political lying). And here is the best quickie-summary video on that study, and it even explains why the U.S. has turned into a dictatorship. It shows how this transition, from a democracy into a dictatorship, results from the institutionalization of political lying — the type of thing that all of the well-funded candidates were engaging in during 2008.

Lies control the U.S.; so, it’s no longer a democracy; it’s institutionalized rule by liars: truth-tellers can’t even compete politically. That’s the real reason why the United States still doesn’t have what all other industrialized countries do: healthcare for all — basic essential healthcare as a right, instead of as a privilege that is accessible only to those who can afford it.

So, that’s the fuller story behind “Uninsured Rate Falls to Lowest Since Obamacare Implementation.” Bloomberg’s headline was intentionally misleading — fraudulent.

The headline here, “Percentage of Health-Uninsureds in U.S. Rises by 1.7%,” using statements from the Obama Administration (which have at various times cited as the latest both the 16.3% CDC figure for 2014 and the 12.9% Gallup figure for March 2015) might instead be (and without sacrificing basic honesty, and this would actually be the most likely true estimate:

Percentage of Health-Uninsureds Declines by 1.7%

Since Obama First Promised to Eliminate It by 100%

Not that it would make much difference, because even a 1.7% decline isn’t anywhere near to being a 100% decline.

In summary, then: Obama lies through his teeth; it’s a fact, no mere charge by Republicans — who are just as much liars as he is. And the press play along by (like they did with “Saddam’s WMD” in 2002 and 2003, propagandizing for an unnecessary multi-trillion-dollar ongoing catastrophe in Iraq) stenographically reporting deceptions by the government as if they weren’t even intended to deceive the public. (“Oh, it’s ‘mistakes’!”) America’s press aren’t in the business of exposing the government’s lies. America’s press are instead in the business of transmitting the government’s lies to the public. (And, then, politicians, if confronted later with their lies, might admit their ‘mistakes’ — as if a lie were instead a mistake — so, that’s yet another lie from such a politician. They think that the American public are endless, irremediable, suckers, people who can never rationally learn from experience.)

Or, in other words: However much trust Americans have in the government and the ruling establishment (including the nation’s press), it’s too much. (For example, this news report is being sent to them all; but if you’ll google the headline here you’ll see how many of them actually report it. One thing that virtually no major news-media report is the virtually total corruption of America’s press, as propagandists for corporate-funded political parties. But that very corruption is my main topic. So, please spread this news-report to everyone you know. It’s samizdat in the U.S., just like was so in the U.S.S.R. — it’s merely exposing fascism, instead of exposing communism. Your friends should know about it, too.)

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of  Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

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  • wunsacon

    Thanks, Eric. Although I’ve hardly followed ObamneyCare, I’ve heard some of the noise. And it never mentions arguments like yours.

    To communicate the argument better, how ’bout a chart depicting the timeline of uninsured% over the past 20 years, with some callouts to a few points-in-time where O’Bomber made “important” announcements or signed the deal?

  • JanMutcher

    Do you really believe that people chose to remain uninsured in the hopes of a better deal coming? From 2008 to 2013? Really? Isn’t it much more likely that with the millions of job losses with the recession, and I’m sure many people went on Cobra for as long as they could, until their governors (GOP) and congressmen (again GOP) cut off unemployment extensions and they could no longer afford it. It also answers why the uninsured rate kept climbing. With your use of words like “apparently” your facts and figures lose all credibility. When the premise of your article is to call our President a liar, you sure seem to be pretty sloppy in backing up your argument. Also, there is a big difference in expressing lofty goals for a program he knew was going to be fought tooth and nail and Governor Walkers out right lies about imagined progress from his leadership. As a Wisconsinite, I can tell you that Scott Walker has been lying since day one, and his goals are twofold; to increase his own power and to use tax payer money to give huge tax breaks to his wealthy donors. I’d say helping millions of Americans get health insurance is worth some exaggerating. Oh, and wunsacon, its President Obama.