Bernie Sanders and ThinkProgress Imply: Trump will kill an additional 36,000 people per year.

Repeal Obamacare

The Claim:

ThinkProgress and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders boldly claimed that 36,000 people per year will die if the government were to repeal Obamacare.

The Verdict:     

ThinkProgress is an organization that publishes extremely partisan political analysis, whether it is accurate or not, that supports a liberal platform. And apparently, Bernie Sanders retweets these facts without properly vetting them.


It is no secret that liberals and Democrats champion the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, as the major token of achievement under President Barack Obama. But now, that token will likely be destroyed. And very soon.

ThinkProgress published a claim to repeal Obamacare would result in 36,000 deaths per year. Interestingly, their liberal counterpart, the Washington Post, challenged the basic premise of the story, stating that a repeal of Obamacare would not be as deadly as claimed.1 WashPo pointed out that ThinkProgress also assumed there would be no replacement for Obamacare. With new legislation on the table, many Americans who will lose coverage provided by Obama’s ACA may receive a different plan in its place. If this happens, a vast majority of those who utilized the marketplace to purchase insurance might continue to receive coverage, but under a different system, one that is highly competitive across state lines, where many insurance companies can compete to offer the best price to the insured. This was Donald Trump’s promise on the campaign trail, and it appears he will follow through with this promise early in his presidency.

Sander’s and ThinkProgressive Need To Do More Homework. If Government Were to Repeal Obamacare, 36,000 Would Not Die.

The ThinkProgress unsubstantiated claim and Bernie Sanders retweet show a sloppy disregard for the facts, and a flagrant neglect of the truth. A replacement for Obamacare may drive down costs and end up covering more Americans than the ACA. Organizations like ThinkProgress don’t want to admit: Obama’s ambition to create a health program that covers “everybody” didn’t work out as planned. It is well known now that Obama repeatedly overreached in speeches about the Affordable Care Act, that “all Americans” would be covered.2 And yet, 2015 estimates found that 10.4%, or 33 million Americans, STILL do not have health insurance.3 Insurance premiums have skyrocketed 22% across 50 states,4 many insurance companies and physicians are dropping out of ACA because of reimbursement, and millennials are the hardest hit with price increases. The Affordable Care Act hasn’t worked. Obama’s ambition is nothing more than a pipe dream.



¹Kessler, Glenn. “Bernie Sanders’s claim that ‘36,000 people will die yearly’ if Obamacare is repealed.” The Washington Post. 14 January, 2017.
² Office of the Press Secretary. “Remarks by the President on the Affordable Care Act.” The White House. 1 April, 2017.
³ Barry-Jester, Anna, and Casselman, Ben. “33 Million Americans Still Don’t have Health Insurance.” FiveThirtyEight. 28 September, 2015.
Source: Department of Health and Human Services, 2016.