Report: 'Obamacare' Medicaid Enrollment Less Than 2 Million, Way Under White House Estimates

| by Allison Geller

A just-released analysis of the Affordable Care Act by Avalere Health, an independent consulting firm, states that the ACA can be credited with enrolling just 1.8 million people in Medicaid. The administration put the number up around 6.3 million, including people renewing their enrollment.

“More than 9 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage — 9 million,” President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address in January.

But ACA critics say the number is misleading, as it counts people who were already signed up for Medicaid before the ACA went into effect, Talking Points Memo reported. According to Avalere, which compared the number of applications filed since October with those filed each month pre-ACA, between 1.1 million and 1.8 million people are new Medicaid sign-ups thanks to the act.

25 states have expanded Medicaid under the ACA. Those states are, logically, responsible for most of the new sign-ups — about 1.3 million. The report counted 500,000 new Medicaid sign-ups in states where the program was not expanded.

“The data illustrate early upticks in Medicaid enrollment, skewing toward expansion states, as we would expect,” Caroline Pearson, Vice President of Avalere Health, said in a statement.

"One major goal of the ­[Affordable Care Act] was to reduce the number of uninsured, and Medicaid expansion is a key part of that,” she said. “These numbers show that the administration has a ways to go toward its enrollment goal and will need to conduct sustained outreach and education efforts to draw more people into coverage throughout the year.”

Sources: Talking Points Memo, Washington Post