I don't know what happened since Obama's news conference on July 22, 2009, but according to Obama's own words, 17 million Americans have health insurance now that didn't then.
Congress didn't act, no legislation was passed, and yet 17 million uninsured Americans somehow picked up health care coverage.
On July 22, before Obama took questions during his prime time news conference, he said this in his opening remarks:
This is not just about the 47 million AMERICANS who have no health insurance. Reform is about every American who has ever feared that they may lose their coverage if they become too sick, or lose their job, or change their job. It's about every small business that has been forced to lay off employees or cut back on their coverage because it became too expensive. And it's about the fact that the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid.
Of course, those of us paying attention knew that Obama was dramatically inflating the number of uninsured Americans.
From CNSNews, July 22, 2009:
In a nationally televised primetime press conference tonight, President Barack Obama falsely claimed there are 47 million Americans without health insurance.
This inflated claim of the number of uninsured Americans was even higher than the false claim of 46 million uninsured Americans that the president’s Council of Economic Advisers made last month.
The Census Bureau says that there are only 35.92 million uninsured Americans and that this number includes 9.1 million people who earn more than $75,000 a year and simply choose not to purchase insurance.
...On June 2, the White House Council of Economic Advisers released a report entitled, “The Economic Case for Health Care Reform.” The report falsely claimed that there were 46 million Americans who lacked health insurance--as opposed to the 47 million claimed by the president tonight.
“Perhaps the most visible sign of the need for health care reform is the 46 million Americans currently without health insurance,” said the CEA report.
...The president cited no source for his claim that there are 47 million uninsured Americans.
Since the White House first falsely claimed in June that there were 46 million uninsured Americans, CNSNews.com has reported on the correct Census Bureau figure on multiple occasions. Radio show host Mark Levin has also repeatedly pointed out the discrepancy between the White House claim of 46 million uninsured Americans and the Census Bureau’s assertion that almost 10 million of that number are not Americans but foreigners who happened to be present in the United States in 2007.
This AP article by Erica Werner, August 5, 2009, tackles the issue of how many Americans are uninsured.
It's a central goal of the president's plan: Extending health care coverage to the millions of Americans who lack it. Question is, just how many million are uninsured?
The answer could make a huge difference in the billions of dollars it will cost to remake the national system.
Barack Obama frequently cites last year's Census Bureau number of 46 million people with no health insurance. But some experts argue that figure is off by tens of millions — in one direction or the other.
The recession's continuing toll on jobs, a tendency to undercount people on Medicaid and other factors make it hard to come up with an exact number. And the most widely accepted range — 40 million to 50 million — includes some 10 million non-citizens, a detail that's generally overlooked when Obama and others talk about "uninsured Americans."
New Census Bureau figures expected next month could scramble the equation, adding billions in costs if the numbers come in higher than expected, or reducing costs if the numbers are lower.
There could be serious implications "if we all of a sudden found that instead of 45 million uninsured there are 35 million," said Michael O'Grady, a senior fellow at the University of Chicago's health policy and evaluation department and a former assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services.
On June 21, 2009, Chris Dodd rounded up the 46 or 47 million, saying "almost 50 million uninsured." The lib media also incorporated the 50 million number in their reports.
It's odd that after months and months and months of hearing that there are 45-50 million uninsured Americans, we suddenly hear that number has plunged. Last night, Obama, without explanation, talked about 30 million Americans without health insurance, rather than the 47 million figure he used in July. Video. Transcript
OBAMA: Many other Americans who are willing and able to pay are still denied insurance due to previous illnesses or conditions that insurance companies decide are too risky or too expensive to cover. We are the only democracy, the only advanced democracy on Earth – the only wealthy nation – that allows such hardship for millions of its people. There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage. FRANK LUNTZ, pollster: 'There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage.' Up until tonight, it was always 47 million. But what they realized was that they were defending health care coverage, government money, your taxpayer dollars, going to illegal immigrants that they realized that they had to take them out of the pool. And so tonight, the number's no longer 47. It's now 30.You'd think Obama would explain his new numbers, especially since his speech was touted as being heavy on specifics. This change certainly makes Obama and the Democrats and their mouthpieces in the media look dishonest. Last night, Obama said, "The time for games has passed." Apparently, the time for number games most definitely has not passed. __________________ In June 2009, Larry Elder broke down the numbers of "uninsured Americans." __________________ More numbers: Census: Uninsured rises to 46.3 million