Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Adding up the numbers on the Affordable Care Act

President Barack Obama gives a speech from the Rose Garden announcing that the administration met Affordable Care Act signup goals.

After months of website malfunction and talk of repeal, the White House had health care reform news to brag about: President Barack Obama announced that 7.1 million people enrolled in health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act by the March 31 deadline for the online marketplaces.

We’ve seen a sharp divide among politicians and voters since the law was passed in 2010, and this benchmark has been no different. It can be tough to make sense of the numbers and talking points coming from elected officials on both sides of the aisle.

PolitiFact sorted out a couple of claims we’ve seen recently on Affordable Care Act numbers:

"More than 3 million young adults ... have gained insurance under (the Affordable Care Act) by staying on their family’s plan."

--Obama, April 1, in a public address.

There’s no way to pin down an exact figure here. Estimates we’ve seen range anywhere from less than 1 million to 3.1 million, depending on which data sets are used and what the time frame is. We rate his claim Half True.

The goal of the Affordable Care Act was to get 30 million people insured, but it only got 7 million.

--Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., April 1, in an interview on Hannity.

A report from the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office stated 7 million signups as its estimate for year one, a target the White House hit by the March 31 deadline. By 2019, the CBO estimates 27 million will be insured. There will always be uninsured people in the country, but Rubio’s twisting the numbers here. We rate his claim Mostly False.