Watch President Obama’s the State of the Union address which aired 9pm Eastern January 20th, 2015. You can watch the SOTU streaming here.
State of the Union Facts
Below we will discuss a few facts from the State of the Union Address, do some fact-checking, and explain the claims made.
10 million covered under the ACA. This number references all Americans covered under ACA related provisions, not just HealthCare.Gov. It includes Medicaid, under 26, and employer coverage. Our enrollment calculations showed over 15 million enrolled by the end of open enrollment. Of course not everyone maintains their plan for the full year. Thus average enrolled in a year can be seen as perhaps a more accurate way to look at enrollments. So far 6.8 million are enrolled in the Marketplace. This claim is accurate enough, and certainly not high, considering the explanation of the math would have made for a complicated speech.
Deficits cut by 2/3rds. Yes the deficit was cut by 2/3rds. That counts bringing down the highest deficit since 1945 (a result of the Bush Administration) over the Presidents first three years, however CBO projections updated in April showed that if nothing changes, the deficit would continue to rise slightly until 2025. This would mean an accumulation of publicly held debt. The ACA was meant to be largely “self-funding” (take in enough revenue to support itself), however it is currently projected to cost a little more than it takes in between 2015-2025. Thus more income or spending cuts are needed to support current laws. Luckily other announcements later included new taxes on the 1%, which could potentially with other changes, help curb longterm deficits toward a surplus.
FACT: As more people take advantage of Marketplace cost assistance and Medicaid expansion, health care spending will rise. Learn more about CBO reports on spending.
In short the President gave factual statements about healthcare, and there is every cause to be hopeful for the future and proud of what the ACA is doing. That being said, when we look forward and look at other causes unrelated to the Administrations actions, some statements remain true, abet less black-or-white.