WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Friday that his predecessor’s health care law covers “very few people” as he minimized the impact of replacing it. That’s only true if you consider more than 20 million people to be very few.
Here’s a look at his statements at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday and some other recent assertions:
TRUMP: “Obamacare covers very few people.”
THE FACTS: More than 20 million people are covered by the two major components of former President Barack Obama’s health care law: expanded Medicaid and subsidized private health insurance.
The Medicaid expansion, adopted by 31 states and Washington, D.C., covers about 11 million low-income people, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The fate of the expansion is a major sticking point as Republicans try to complete their repeal plan. Sixteen states with GOP governors have expanded their Medicaid programs.
The other more visible component is HealthCare.gov. The federal website and state-run online insurance markets have signed up 12.2 million people for this year, according to an Associated Press count earlier this month, based on federal and state reports.
This is lower than the 12.7 million who initially enrolled for 2016. But it is not dramatically lower when considering the problems the markets have had with rising premiums and dwindling insurer participation, not to mention Trump’s vow to repeal the program.
Altogether, since Obama’s law passed in 2010, the number of uninsured people has dropped by about 20 million and the uninsured rate has declined below 9 percent, a historic low.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48.6 million Americans were uninsured in 2010. Through the first nine months of last year, that figure was down to 28.2 million.
Although employers also added coverage as the economy recovered, experts say the vast majority of the coverage gains are due to Obama’s law.
However, the progress in reducing the number of uninsured people appears to have stalled. The 28.2 million uninsured last year, from January to September, is not statistically different from the 28.6 million uninsured for all of 2015, according to the CDC.