Americans were not told that American households would be 1% less worried about bankruptcy, or that we'd save a hundred thousand lives over thirty years.
They were regaled with eye-popping statistics on deaths from lack of health insurance--I certainly was, by many of the very same commenters who are now suddenly wary of prediction making. If you quoted those statistics, you were committing to a pretty strong position on the benefits of this bill. By my count, since we're now supposed to be covering at least 2/3 of those who are currently uninsured, and the remainder are often immigrants who trend younger than the general population, you believe that we should see a reduction of at least 15,000 deaths a year. You might argue me down to 12,000, but you couldn't get me as low as ten. That is what is implied by citing a figure of 20,000 deaths a year.
If you quoted Himmelstein et al's 45,000, obviously you should be expecting deaths to fall by at least 25,000 a year, very conservatively. If we don't see such improvements, then those studies were wrong. And if you won't commit to saying that you expect such a sizable reduction in our mortality rate, then you were wrong to cite them.
We are committing a huge amount of the public fisc to this bill. We'd better see the benefits. Read the whole thing.