False claim that 3.1 million young adults got coverage through parents


David Hogberg, Ph.D.
National Policy
April 2, 2014

Obama is likely thinking up more lies to tell the American people.

Obama is likely thinking up more lies to tell the American people.


Yesterday President Obama claimed that “more than 3 million young adults… have gained insurance under this law by staying on their family’s plan.”

Indeed, the number of young people who can now stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26—the so-called “slacker mandate”—is one of the most oft-repeated ObamaCare statistics. The Los Angeles Times used it in a recent article to claim that because of ObamaCare “at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage.”2 That included not only the 3.1 million young adults who are covered by their parents’ plans but also about 2 million on the exchanges and 4.5 million on Medicaid.

The exchange and Medicaid numbers are highly problematic and have been challenged elsewhere.3 Yet the 3.1 million young adults figure seems nearly infallible. For example, when disputing the Medicaid numbers back in January, Ezra Klein claimed, “The 3.1 million young adults who got coverage through the new insurance regulations is a pretty reliable figure.”

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