Of George W. Bush’s myriad of failures that continue to wreck havoc at home and abroad, 7.9 million Americans losing their health insurance rarely gets mentioned.
“When [former president Bill] Clinton left office, the number of uninsured Americans stood at 38.4 million,” Ron Brownstein wrote in 2009. “By the time [former president George W.] Bush left office that number had grown to just over 46.3 million, an increase of nearly 8 million or 20.6 percent.”
And as Bush left office, the percentage of those without insurance continued to grow as millions continued to lose their jobs in the recession President Obama inherited. But in 2011 the percentage of uninsured began to shrink slightly as the Affordable Care Act went into effect. That shrinkage leveled out over the next two years but 2014 will likely offer the biggest reduction in the uninsured population at least in decades.
The Incidental Economist‘s Aaron Carroll — who hosts a great YouTube series called Healthcare Triage — looked at a new survey from Gallup and found that it suggests “more than 15 million Americans are newly insured this year. Almost 9 million of them received private insurance through the exchanges.”
And there is more bad news for the GOP. Forbes is reporting that nearly 60 percent of those who signed up for an insurance policy under Obamacare had no coverage previously. This figure, which is based on reliable data, pretty much puts an end to the argument that nearly all who are enrolling already had a policy.
Kaiser Family Foundation is out with a report today that harshly puts the lie to one of the anti-Obamacare troops loudest and most effective rallying cries—“Obamacare is only signing up people who already had insurance!”
And all of this from a president who is not even anything like a socialist.