Thanks, Obamacare: Rate of Uninsured in Colorado Plummets

As it turns out, maybe not.

As it turns out, maybe not.

As the Denver Business Journal's Mark Harden reports, a major validation today for longsuffering supporters of the much-maligned Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. "Obamacare." After months of intense paid media by Republicans and allies to trash President Barack Obama's signature reform, mostly centered on the claim that "millions of Americans are losing their health insurance," the truth is dramatically against them:

Colorado ranks fifth among the states for the biggest reduction in the rate of residents lacking health coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act, according to a new survey from Gallup.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index report says 17 percent of Colorado's population lacked health insurance in 2013, and that percentage has now dropped to 11 percent, a 6 percentage point drop.

Gallup makes the point that the 10 states that saw the biggest drop in uninsured rates under the health-care law, known to many as Obamacare, were all states that — like Colorado — set up their own online marketplaces for health coverage for individuals and small businesses, and all 10 expanded Medicaid eligibility as the new law encouraged them to do.

Conversely, states that saw the smallest reductions in their uninsured rate were more likely to be those that either declined to set up their own health-coverage exchange or didn't expand Medicaid or both, Gallup's report indicates.

Here in Colorado, Republicans and allied message groups wailed on for months about the "335,000 Coloradans who lost their health insurance" as a result of Obamacare. But that's not the whole story: as we discussed at length, over 90% of those so-called "cancellation notices" in Colorado in fact contained instructions for renewing their existing plans. Thousands more were sent entirely in error. Republicans were determined to leave the impression with the voting public that these 335,000 Coloradans were left without health insurance. Fact-checkers repeatedly called out this claim as misleading, but to little avail–the budgets for the ad campaigns were massive, and no one could pressure broadcasters to take these false but highly profitable ads off the air.

Today's report that the rate of uninsured in Colorado has in fact dropped enormously, from 17% of the population to only 11%, totally disproves the "Obamacare policy cancellation" talking point. If the rate of uninsured Coloradans has plunged such a huge number, those 335,000 people did not in fact "lose their health insurance." The truth is, Obamacare has insured many more thousands of Coloradans than were covered before the law took effect.

And that means something Republicans do not want the public to realize before November: Obamacare is working.

The real question is, can Democrats get that message through to voters in time?

29 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    If they pay their premiums, which many are not.

    Only not cancelled because Obama illegally changed the law.

    Until they realize their deductible is sky high.

    Even though they were happy before, all of this upheaval.

    You bet Democrats, it's time to campaign on Obamacare!!!

    • Curmudgeon says:

      Tell you what, Moddy;  we'll campaign on Obamacare, and you guys can campaign on what the GOP has accomplished, which is……





      • Moderatus says:

        We have slowed the destruction of America by liberals and Obama. That should be enough to take the Senate this year.

        • Curmudgeon says:

          How'd you do, that, exactly?  I want to see that on some campaign literature.

          • langelomisterioso says:

            While he's working on that I'd like some winger to tell us all about an ongoing program, conceived out of conservative principles( whatever those are) introduced,carried,and mostly passed by conservatives that beneits a majority of citizens of thisnation.I've asked this question several times and have yet to have a winger make an attempt at answering it.I'm betting Moddy won't try either.

        • ct says:

          …but alas, not able to stop the cranial dysentery it would appear.

        • OrangeFree says:

          Yep, forcing a debt ceiling stand off which lowered our credit rating, a government shutdown that cost billions in economic opportunity, and 50 votes to deny millions of Americans health insurence coverage sure does show the American people it's the liberals who are destorying America. 

          If my eyes could roll any more then they are, they would fall out of my head.

        • dustpuppy says:

          Can we bill you Republicans for the $24 billion lost in taxpayer dollars from last November's shutdown. I haven't forgotten that.

          The Senate will remain Democratic and the House will be surprisingly Democratic when the dust settles because the voters are hating the Republicans for obstruction.

        • BlueCat says:

          Got any hard evidence? A link to studies? Graphs? Charts?

        • Windsor_scott says:

          What about JOBS JOBS JOBS?  Where were those bills?  Oh wait, they spent all their time voting to repeal Obamacare and then to sue the President.  

          Any of us doing such a piss-poor job would have been fired long ago.  

          Trying to prove something didn't happen because your team did nothing is going to be a tough argument, but good try.  BTW jobs, the economy and the stock market are all WAY up no thanks to Congress and the previous President.     

    • Old Time Dem says:

      Dear Koch Sucker,

      The Administration did not "illegally" change the law, no matter how often you proclaim it.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      As long as your idiots are campaigning on the GOP alternative . . . faith healing . . . , why not?


    • BlueCat says:

      You mean the exact same kind of "illegal" change Bush made when he rolled out the medicare prescription benefit?

    • BlueCat says:

      Know anybody who had to pay a higher deductible for higher cost and less coverage than what they had with insurance they bought on the private market?  I mean someone who hasn't been debunked. I don't. Private insurance for the self employed sucked before ACA and sucks less now. Mine has the same high deductible but the cost is about half as much so I can, once again, afford to at least know that one hospitalization won't bankrupt me. Still not a civilized 21st century system like all the other modern industrialized countries have but better than it was. It's only because of you troglodytes that we can't all have quality health care coverag for half the per capita cost of our backwards system. But then nobody running for President or seeking to be Prime Minister in Europe is forced to swear they don't accept any post mid 19th century science, either. They're allowed to run as intelligent, educated grown ups.

      • James Dodd says:

        Well, BC, I can personally attest to the fact that thr institution of Obamacare has resulted in higher cost, , quality health insurance for my employees and my family. This change was not mandated by the ACA, but was the result of a shift in policy that encouraged insurance companies to only offer junk insurance. 

        Our existing plan – which ends September first – had the following terms:

        • Deductible – 1200/2400
        • Out of pocket maximum – 2500/5000
        • Co-insurance – 80/20
        • Co-pay – 30/50

        The new plan that we are being offered has the following terms:

        • Deductible – 1500/3000
        • Out of pocket maximum – 6350/12700
        • Co – insurance – 65/35
        • Co – pay – 50/70

        And, the kicker is that the new policy is more expensive than our existing policy! 

        Now, don't confuse me with Mod or AC. I am an advocate for a national health system like the have in Britain.  For me, single payer is a compromise. 

        • James Dodd says:

          The first sentence should read, "higher cost, lower quality health insurance".

        • Cogito says:

          Thanks for chiming in.   But when I bought health insurance for my company  premiums were always going up and benefits often shrank.   Five years ago when my employee demographics changed I moved to insurance with my hisband's employer but my experience regarding rates and benefits was the same.  So the fact this is still happening on the private market is not surprising.  As you noted, it it not a product of Obamacare and BC still has no one who has been forced by the ACA to pay more for less. 

          I am curious, what leads you to conclude the policy is shifting to junk insurance?

          • James Dodd says:

            Prior to the adoption of the ACA, the "standard in the industry" for employer plans was to basically match the benefits provided by Medicare.  If your employer provided a plan with better benefits (usually a union plan), you were in great shape.  On the other hand, if your employer's plan was worse than Medicare, it was time to look for a new job. This was the plan that I provided for my employees and their families.

            President Obama and his Chicago school*, neo-liberal cohort somehow decided that the average American family can afford to pay $6,350 per individual and $12,700 per family per year for medical expenses after paying insurance premiums.  Given that the median household pretax income in the US is approximately $50,000 per year, I humbly suggest that these out of pocket maximums create junk insurance because any significant medical problem will drive the median family into insolvency and, possibly, bankruptcy.

            A policy that encourages rewards insuance companies and employers to cancel decent health insurance plans and replace them with junk insurance is as damaging as a law the requires it.

            The ACA is a neo-liberal, Rube Goldbergian nightmare that a little to do with providing average Americans with decent healthcare and everything to do with bailing out the insurance industry.

            If you are really interested in a detailed analysis of the ACA, I would recommend the following website -

            *BTW – I am an alum of the University of Chicago.

        • exlurker19 says:

          My old plan:  deductible went from $3,500 to $35,000 a year when that carrier illegally changed me from an HMO to a Health Savings Account. When I called to complain the customer service rep (that's a joke) said, you gonna call the insurance commissioner?  They're here every day investigating us.  You think they care?  If they cared, they'd have shut us down. 

          Obamacare has helped me a lot.  Guess what–my deductible is back to $3,500 because I bought a Gold plan and my premiums are less.

    • nota33 says:




      "After totaling the electoral votes in all the solid blue states, it becomes apparent that even a below average Democrat presidential candidate could begin the race with a whopping 246 advantage," the author said. "No wonder President (Barack) Obama was so confident of victory in 2012 for he knew the game was practically over before it began."

      University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato said the hurdle for Republicans doesn't look any better if you count the underlying votes by citizens, not just the electoral results.

      "Democrats have also won the popular vote in five of the last six presidential contests," Sabato said. "The demographic shifts heading to mid century are all pro-Democratic."

  2. denverco says:

    So basically you have no facts, just your bullshit talking points.Why is that most republicans have pulled their anti-Obamacare ads? Maybe Gessler should campaign against Obamacare – he would be sure to win the governorship.

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