Charles Krauthammer: Obamacare's 7.1 million enrollees a "phony number"

The Fox News contributor still says the net impact of Obamacare on insurance coverage could be negative

Published April 2, 2014 4:20PM (EDT)

 Charles Krauthammer   (Screen shot, YouTube)
Charles Krauthammer (Screen shot, YouTube)

Echoing a talking point that was widely disseminated in conservative circles, syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer argued on Tuesday that Americans shouldn't take the White House's claim of having thus far enrolled 7.1 million people in Obamacare seriously because it is a "phony number."

Before explaining why the figure should be disregarded, Krauthammer joked that the White House was oddly precise in its numbers. "These guys go six months without any idea what the numbers are," Krauthammer said, "and all of a sudden it’s to a decimal point.”

Yet Krauthammer went on to claim that this suspiciously precise number was bogus, anyway — and that it was still possible that Obamacare had caused more people to lose health insurance than gain it.

After citing the fact that the 7.1 million figure was almost certainly going to decrease once those who have signed up but refuse to pay their first premium are discarded — a figure experts have previously estimated as being around 20 percent — Krauthammer took the argument further.

"If it turns out that the overwhelming majority of the so-called 7.1 were people who had health insurance, liked their health insurance, were renewing their health insurance, and got kicked off their health insurance, whose lives are disrupted, premiums are raised, deductibles are raised, and lost their doctors are now among the 7.1," Krauthammer said "[then] it's a net negative."

You can watch Krauthammer explain why Obamacare reaching an unofficial goal of 7 million enrollees is still somehow potentially bad news for its supporters below, via Media Matters:

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

MORE FROM Elias Isquith