An examination of Obamacare data reveals the president’s signature law has mostly been an expansion of the failing Medicaid program. In fact, the coverage numbers are far worse than the Congressional Budget Office projected in the summer of 2012.

According to recent analysis by The Heritage Foundation, Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion is responsible for almost all of the law’s net increase in people with coverage.

Through the first nine months of 2014, the increase in individual market enrollment was 5.8 million people, which was largely offset by the 4.9 million people who lost workplace coverage. Over the same time, enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program increased by 7.5 million people.

The total increase in Medicaid accounted for 89 percent of the net increase in people with insurance coverage between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2014.

In July 2012, CBO projected that net Medicaid enrollment would increase by 6 million people between 2013 and 2014. In that one-year period, CBO also projected that net individual market enrollment would increase by 8 million people and net workplace coverage would decline by 2 million people. On net, CBO projected that 12 million more people would have coverage in 2014 compared to 2013, with only half of the coverage gains through Medicaid.

On every coverage dimension, Obamacare performed worse in 2014 than CBO projected. There are 1.5 million more people on a Medicaid program that provides enrollees with low access to care and poor health outcomes.

Five million fewer people are enrolled in private coverage. This includes 3 million more people without workplace coverage and 2 million fewer people enrolled in the individual market than CBO projected back in July 2012.

First-year Obamacare coverage change worse than expected

CBO’s July2012 projection Actual
Employer sponsored insurance -2 million -4.9 million
Individual market +8 million +5.8 million
Medicaid (including CHIP) +6 million +7.5 million
Net coverage gains +12 million +8.4 million
Percentage of net gains through Medicaid 50% 89%

Given the administration’s diminished expectation of only 9 million to 10 million exchange enrollees in 2015, and CBO’s projection that the drop in workplace coverage will accelerate, Obamacare is likely to remain mostly an expansion of Medicaid for the foreseeable future.