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RAND Study: Only 36% of Obamacare Enrollees Were Previously Uninsured

5:38 PM, Apr 8, 2014 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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A study released Tuesday by the non-profit RAND Corporation found that only 3.9 million people have enrolled in the Obamacare exchanges--a much smaller number than the 7 million sign-ups touted by the Obama administration: 

By our estimate, 3.9 million people are now covered through the state and federal marketplaces. This number is lower than current estimates of marketplace enrollment through the end of March from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), perhaps because some of the [Health Reform Opinion Study] data were collected in early March. All HROS data collection reported here ended on March 28, and therefore missed the last three days of the open enrollment period, during which time there was a surge in enrollment.

The study also found that people gaining employer-provided insurance was the biggest reason why the uninsured rate has dropped in recent months:

Of those who were previously uninsured but are now insured, 7.2 million gained [employer-sponsored insurance], 3.6 million are now covered by Medicaid, 1.4 million signed up through the marketplaces, and the remainder gained coverage through other sources.

If the 1.4 million figure is correct, that means that less than 0.5 percent of the U.S. population gained insurance through the Obamacare exchanges. Of course, it's certainly possible that the Obama administration's estimates are closer to the mark. But even if that's the case, it's highly unlikely that more than 1 percent of the U.S. population gained insurance--that is, they were previously uninsured but are now insured--because of the Obamacare exchanges.

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