ANALYSIS: TRUE. No, Obamacare Has Not Saved American Lives.
Some studies do suggest that health insurance can saves lives. But these focus either on individuals with private coverage or on the Massachusetts health-care reform law of 2006, which primarily expanded private coverage within the Bay State. The ACA, by contrast, is primarily an expansion of Medicaid; in recent years, the share of Americans with private insurance has declined.
In 2007, just prior to the Great Recession, 66.8 percent of non-elderly Americans had private insurance. By 2015, two years into the ACA’s expansion, that share had declined to 65.6 percent. Taking the larger economic picture into account by looking back to 2007 is crucial, because the private-insurance rate fluctuates with employment. Between 2007 and 2010, employment fell by 5.5 percent and private coverage fell by 7 percent. Between 2010 and 2015, employment rose by 8.8 percent and private coverage rose by 9.5 percent.
ACA implementation has coincided with an increase in private coverage because it occurred during a period of job growth. But 300,000 fewer Americans have private coverage today than would have it if the ratio of coverage to employment had remained at its 2007–10 level over the last six years.
Left unsaid? About 75% of those who applied for coverage under ObamaCare’s expanded Medicaid program had been eligible for Medicaid under the old, unexpanded program. Essentially then, ObamaCare was a wrecking ball aimed at private insurance, and a multi-billion-dollar advertising buy for public assistance.