Naturally, Klein also touts the fact that the uninsured rate appears to have dropped. However, whether one looks at the Gallup polls or the Census Bureau’s larger ACS polls, it appears that Year One of Obamacare may have reduced the uninsured rate roughly 1 percent from pre-recession levels. That is almost certainly good news for those who are newly insured through the exchanges (a number we cannot quantify). But it is also a milder form of the “if it saves even one child” argument. Obamacare comes with an enormous price tag, no matter how calculated. It is at the very least debatable that this cost, along with the other disruptions to people’s lives it has brought, was worth insuring a few more people. Progressives have great hopes that the program will insure millions more, but given that working- and middle class people gave it a pass in Year One, it is difficult to presume they will be happy if they are forced into it in the future.
In sum, after its first full year, Obamacare has cost more and enrolled fewer than originally predicted. It has enrolled millions in a broken, ineffective program. It has interfered with people’s established medical relationships. People using the program tend to have more negative reviews than positive ones. Its few cost controls are widely believed by experts to be unsustainable. Perhaps these reasons, and not the existence of conservative media, are the real obstacles to Progressives’ efforts to declare Obamacare a success.