January 27th, 2010
10:08 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN Fact Check: Will millions of Americans lose health insurance?

(CNN) - In his State of the Union address Wednesday night, President Barack Obama picked up on the health care theme with a bleak prediction, saying: "By the time I'm finished speaking tonight, more Americans will have lost their health insurance. Millions will lose it this year."

Will millions of Americans lose health insurance in 2010?

The CNN Fact Check Desk found that the answer may depend on how much higher the unemployment rate goes.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 58.5 percent of Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance as of 2008. That suggests a strong link between the unemployment rate and the number of people without health insurance.

Last year, U.S. employers eliminated 4.2 million jobs, and while some workers may have been able to continue their insurance benefits under the government-subsidized COBRA plan, most observers agree that millions of Americans lost their health insurance.

If the U.S. economy continues to shed jobs at the same rate in 2010, it's likely that millions more will lose their health insurance. On the other hand, if the economy begins to add jobs in 2010, it's possible that the number of Americans who lose their health insurance will be lower than the millions estimated.

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Showtime - Tampa

    If BHO continues his antibusiness policies that he has pushed for over a year now, than YES millions of people will be without insurance!

    If he gets out of the way than no....so he is causing what he predicts!

    January 27, 2010 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  2. J.C. - Independent 4 Public Option

    "The CNN Fact Check Desk found that the answer may depend on how much higher the unemployment rate goes."

    That's why we should abolish employment-based insurance, because people still have to live on even after being laid off, and it's much less wasteful if we can shop for our own policy under Universal Health Care. Shopping for an individual policy is like sending sheep into a wolf den without universal health care.

    Only employment-based insurance can create a Cadillac policy that costs $23,000 a year.

    January 27, 2010 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  3. Grace

    Will someone please knock some sense in Obama's head? If health care coverage is linked to unemployment, doesn't it make more sense that Obama should have focused on jobs the past year so that Americans could keep their coverage? Obama squandered a year that he could have helped Americans keep jobs AND their health coverage!

    January 27, 2010 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  4. Angie

    The CNN Fact Check Desk found that the answer may depend on how much higher the unemployment rate goes?

    Is that what you call a Fact check?

    How about the Fact that the Medical Health Insurance Companies do not take a break from weighing their profits over dropping a patient from their coverage.

    And by the time Obama finished speaking, chances are another patient or two if not 5 or 10 or 20 have just been dropped tonight by the medical insurance companies who do not want to pay for the expensive treatments that the terminally ill patients need.

    The CNN Fact Check Desk found that the answer may depend on how much higher the unemployment rate goes.

    Sounds like your CNN Fact Check Desk has a bias Anti Obama employee not checking the facts.

    January 27, 2010 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  5. OMG

    So you're saying that he is fear-mongering??? Hmmmmm, seems like that's what the republicans get blamed for all the time. Now the President does the same thing.

    January 27, 2010 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  6. Steve Lyons

    If his public option get's passed they certainly will. I want this traitor prosecuted.

    January 27, 2010 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  7. DB Maloney

    I just lost my health insurance because of job loss. Now I'll have to pay the COBRA Premium for as long as I can. Obama is right about the health care system and the Rebublicans (Like McDonnell) are wrong. We don't have "The best system in the world". We have the most expensive.

    January 28, 2010 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  8. Mike in SA

    Obama: "If I make things bad enough, EVERYBODY will lose their health insurance. You'll all be unemployed!"

    January 28, 2010 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  9. Nea

    Even if they dont lose their Health Care this i do know Health Care will continue to rise because mines just went up.

    January 28, 2010 01:50 am at 1:50 am |