With our new prosthetic memory, called the Internet, it should be easy to go back and look at past predictions and see how well those predictions played out. Heck, sports talk radio hosts do it all the time, comparing their beginning of season predictions with what actually happened. But no one ever seems to hold the government or politicians similarly accountable.
Here is one I found by accident. In July of 2011, Kevin Drum quotes this prediction from the CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a government agency).
In 2014, the Affordable Care Act will greatly expand access to insurance coverage, mainly through Medicaid and new state health insurance exchanges which will facilitate the purchase of insurance. The result will be an estimated 22.9 million newly insured people.
As the law's initial enrollment period closes, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage. Some have done so through marketplaces created by the law, some through other private insurance and others through Medicaid, which has expanded under the law in about half the states.
The tally draws from a review of state and federal enrollment reports, surveys and interviews with insurance executives and government officials nationwide.
....Republican critics of the law have suggested that the cancellations last fall have led to a net reduction in coverage. That is not supported by survey data or insurance companies, many of which report they have retained the vast majority of their 2013 customers by renewing old policies, which is permitted in about half the states, or by moving customers to new plans.
This is presented as a great victory, but in fact it is nearly 60% below expectations of less than two years earlier. We don't know the final number. Drum, who should be expected to be on the optimistic end of projections, has upped his estimate to 11-13 million, but this is still barely half what was expected. The disastrous Obamacare exchange rollout did one thing at least -- it hammered expectations so low that even a 50% miss is considered a great victory.