Chris Conover, Forbes:
The Census Bureau has finally released definitive statistics on the number of uninsured in 2014 and the news is not good for Obamacare (unless, of course, you have abysmally low expectations for government performance). The population-wide uninsured rate fell from 14.5% in calendar year 2013 to 11.7% in 2014. The total number of uninsured dropped from 45.2 million in 2013 to 36.7 million in 2014–a net of 8.5 million who gained coverage .
There are 2 things to note about this new number, which is far more definitive than the previous numbers put out by Urban Institute, RAND Corporation, Commonwealth Fund, Gallup or even the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey (NHIS):
- It also is well below official government projections of how many uninsured would gain coverage under Obamacare .
Why is the figure so much more definitive? The Census Bureau figures released today that I’ve cited above come from the American Community Survey (ACS), which is based on a survey of about 3.5 million households (about 8.8 million people). In contrast, the NHIS surveys only 87,500 people and all the other surveys focus exclusively on adults, hence cannot provide an accurate population-wide estimate of changes in the number of uninsured. Moreover, these private surveys also are considerably smaller: Gallup surveys less than 44,000 adults 18 and over, Urban Institute samples about 7,500 non-elderly adults, Commonwealth Surveys less than 6,200 non-elderly adults and RAND surveys less than 2,500 non-elderly adults.