KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Have More People Lost Health Insurance Than Gained It?

Fact checkers from the Washington Post and FactCheck.Org examine GOP claims about the number of people who have lost coverage -- both in terms of individual and employer-provided coverage -- as a result of the health law.

The Washington Post's The Fact Checker: The GOP Claim That More Americans Have Lost Insurance Than Gained It Under Obamacare
On its face, this claim by the Daily Caller is wrong because the law included a significant expansion of Medicaid, which in just three months has added 3.9 million people to its rolls. The article also incorrectly assumes that everyone whose plan did not meet Affordable Care Act standards but who did not sign up for a plan via the exchanges has been left without coverage. In reality, many people who received notices that their plans were canceled were told they would be automatically enrolled into another plan by the same insurance company (Kessler, 1/6).

FactCheck.Org/USA Today: Fact Check: Workers 'Losing' Employer Health Plans? 
Michigan Rep. Fred Upton exaggerated the impact of the Affordable Care Act when he claimed that "perhaps as many as 80 to 90 million Americans with employer-based health care are going to lose their plans" by late this year. Upton doesn't mean that those millions of Americans would no longer have health insurance through their employers. And these workers won't be receiving cancellation notices in the mail. Instead, he's talking about health plans losing grandfathered status, which means they are exempted from some requirements of the Affordable Care Act because they existed before the law was enacted (Robertson, 1/3).

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