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Please begin with an informative title:

First, brainwrap is not a corporate spy. We knew that.

Second, A Gallup survey reported that the fraction of Americans without insurance fell to 14.5% in the second half of March, well below the much-reported number of 15.6% for the entire first quarter of 2014. The Gallup numbers in general have caused a minor outbreak of sanity, which some on the other side are treating like that outbreak of Ebola in Africa. I'm waiting for both sides to take note of this new number, which has been mentioned in comments on dKos, but not Diaried. Until now, of course, but I can't get into the details today, and the details are important.

Credit the surge. We have to, because Republicans sure won't.

Also, MSNBC is embracing the sane, "because math", says Ari Melber. Yes, I know, you knew that, too, but yesterday's outbreak is still worth checking out.


Rachel Maddow: LOL [sic]

Obamacare is not going to be the biggest issue in the fall elections. Not any more.
Anyway, brainwrap has numbers for us. Yes, OK, we knew that too, also, besides. But he can also tell us where more numbers are going to come from soon, because they have actually started to come out. Do you know where from?

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

I have realized that I should not do late, late-night updates, no matter how interesting the nightly news shows may be, or what I find late at night on the Net. Instead I will put that stuff into a draft Diary and publish it in the morning. Well, after I get up, whenever that is. Have I mentioned?

I'm retired.

Having fun is my job.

So if I feel like keeping programmers' hours into the early morning, nobody tells me that I have to get up early.

ACA Signups Today

Update x1:

April 8

Tweet of the Day, and the RAND 3.9M Mystery Resolved...sort of

By our estimate, 3.9 million people are now covered through the state and federal marketplaces. This number is lower than current estimates of marketplace enrollment through the end of March from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), perhaps because some of the HROS data were collected in early March. All HROS data collection reported here ended on March 28, and therefore missed the last three days of the open enrollment period, during which time there was a surge in enrollment.
The RAND Survey is out! Conclusion: NET insurance gain of 9.3M!
At last, the big RAND Survey that everyone was freaking out about (and in some cases, completely misinterpreting) has actually been released!

The key numbers:

Using a survey fielded by the RAND American Life Panel, we estimate a net gain of 9.3 million in the number of American adults with health insurance coverage from September 2013 to mid-March 2014.
The net result, according to RAND? An overall drop in the adult uninsured rate from 20.5% to 15.8%, or around 9.3M people nationally.
Totally consistent with the Gallup numbers, given the uncertainties in polling.

Update x0:

Well, that was yesterday after I posted my Diary. We don't have anything new this morning. (I'm sorry I didn't get to do any updates to yesterday's Diary.) Note that brainwrap is telling us not only the numbers of the day, but where more numbers are starting to come from, notably in Michigan's Medicaid expansion and in Federal numbers for the states.

April 7

New Mexico: 26.4K QHPs confirmed; also 24.5K OFF-exchange QHPs total

Oregon: QHPs up to 59K as of 4/06 (UPDATE)

Michigan: 27K new Medicaid enrollees in 1st week of expansion

Now that my home state of Michigan has finally joined the Medicaid expansion program, the numbers are starting to come out, and are pretty impressive right out of the gate.
South Carolina: 3/31 Total: 97.4K Exchange QHPs
Ah, at last…the Federal exchange state data is starting to trickle in now…

It's nice to be able to plug in SC's data, but the "How many have PAID???" thing is more amusing. 31% of the enrollees don't have their policy start until May 1st, so it's only 69% who you would even expect to have paid yet. Presumably the bulk of the 11% in between will pay over the next few weeks, and the 31% May-starts will start paying in increasing numbers as well.

I'm not a private eye and I don't do corporate spying.
I was recently contacted by someone representing one insurance company who wanted me to attempt to find out specialized enrollment data about one of their competitors.

I don't blame them for giving this a shot; the insurance industry is, no doubt, a highly competitive business.

However, get this straight: If you want inside info on one of your competitors, go elsewhere. If your competitor happens to provide enrollment data for me, the odds are that it will be published publicly, which means that you'll will be able to view it by simply visiting the website just like anyone else.

As a courtesy, I am not going to identify either the person/company who made the request (nor the company they were trying to get information about).

However, I cannot guarantee that I won't do so if this happens again.

That is all.

When I was a high-tech market analyst, one of my publishers asked me what another one had me working on. I asked, "Do you want me to tell him what you are doing?"

That was the end of that.


I can't do my regular roundup of the crazy today. There has been an outbreak of sanity on on a few points that I have to cover instead. Well, the crazy is pushing back on the sanity, so you can have a bit of that. Let's start with a few Gallup findings, even though the other side might claim that they only inject

mere corroborative details designed to lend an air of verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.
Gilbert and Sullivan, The Mikado

Unconvincing to the unconvincible, anyway.

March 28, 2014
Politics Affect Uninsured Americans' Insurance Intentions

Democrats twice as likely as Republicans to say they will get insurance
March 28, 2014
Alabamans Struggle Most to Afford Healthcare and Medicine
Iowans and Minnesotans are least likely to struggle with healthcare costs
Lead story on All In with Chris Hayes (with Ari Melber in for Chris) last night: Winning.

First off, brainwrap's graph with the added 7.1 million caption decorated the wall behind Ari again, as it has more than once for Chris.

The first part of the segment was about bipartisan cooperation on a fix to part of the ACA dealing with deductibles in policies provided by employers. A semblance of sanity, right? Cue the winger freakout.

AP via ABC: GOP Seeks Coverage Choices in Health Law They Hate

The Drudge Report linked to this version, under the title

Republicans Expand Obamacare?
AP via MyWay: GOP seeks coverage choices in health law they hate

and to this rebuttal:

Washington Examiner: Team Boehner to Drudge: We didn't 'expand' Obamacare, we repealed a piece

Boehner put this up on his House Web site:

Republicans Successfully Chip Away Another Piece of ObamaCare

See, the deal is that some Republicans went along with a fix that some businesses and also some workers asked for, allowing companies to provide high-deductible policies to their employees at low premium rates. Progressives are generally against this, as an instance of the kind of junk insurance we have just been moving away from. If they didn't hate Obama so much, wingers would normally crow about cutting real insurance coverage for workers, but this lot is far from normal for wingers.

MSNBC: Winning

Ari Melber, in for Chris Hayes, who will be back on Thursday:

Face it: The Obamacare fight is over.
Melber introduced his guests, Eric Muller of Media Matters, and former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, and put it to them thus.
Obamacare's working because math.
Muller took the side of the ACA, but not very strongly.

Michael Steele cast doubt on the numbers with some of the usual talking points, and gave the stock Republican answer that allows them to ignore any and all facts.

What's next?
He did admit that Republicans had put themselves into a box, because what do you replace Obamacare with? But then he took it back, claiming vaguely that covering more people comes at a personal cost if the government is more involved in their health care. That is, in plain English, because Socialism. (My take: Because votes from the base, and never mind math.)

I'm on Medicare. I can't tell you how glad I am that the government is more than just "involved" in my health care. I also take the Progressive view that denying people health care comes at the personal cost of your soul. (Don't start with me on theology. It can be the cost of your Buddha Nature, or the cost of the moral compass of your matter-based consciousness, if you prefer.) Also having the Koch brothers involved in your health care.

Steele's most fact-challenged statement, an elaboration of What's next? was

The reality of Obamacare really hasn't hit yet
even though we have already seen three months of the newly-insured going to doctors, often for the first time in years, either to find out that they made it through OK, or that they have any of the ailments that flesh is heir to, and have to start treatment right away. That means medication, surgery, rehab, mental health services, prosthetics, home monitoring devices, or any of the other possibilities. In many cases, they are getting their first shot at lifesaving treatment for cancer, heart disease, and other conditions. Many others not only survived a disaster in an emergency room, but are now able to get the ongoing care needed for a full recovery.

Even though we have had years of people not being denied insurance, not being thrown off insurance, not going broke because of coverage caps and refusal to pay benefits, and a good deal more beside. But those are facts, which don't count to the Cognitively Dissonant who have to stay at least one excuse ahead of them.

Steele did say that even if the Republicans could take both Houses of Congress and the Presidency in 2016, they would not be able to throw 20 million people off health care in 2017.

Rachel Maddow: LOL

Yes, that's actually the name of the lead segment on last night's show. Details in the first update.


The segment is up on the MSNBC Web site as Republicans lose Obamacare as campaign prop

I had to go around Robin Hood's barn to get a working (and Godawful) embed code for the clip, but here it is.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The background behind Rachel was a picture of Scott Brown and Mitch McConnell with a honking great LOL in humorous lettering above their heads.

Rachel began with one of her trademarked background introductions, starting with the cringeworthiness of former Sen. Scott Brown in general, as in his unscripted offer of his two daughters to his followers, saying that they were "available" at the beginning of his Senate victory speech, and then trying to unsay it instantly afterwards.

Rachel was quite gleeful about Brown's carpetbagging in New Hampshire, where he keeps getting confused about where he actually is at the moment; and where he forgot to get NH license plates for his truck; and where he forget to remove the MA from his twitter handle, @ScottBrownMA (since changed to @SenScottBrown); or to remember that the state motto in NH is "Live Free or Die", not "Live Free and Die"; or to declare his party affiliation when filing to run for the Senate from NH.

He has been particularly egregious and clueless on Obamacare. Rachel did not bring out this story today, which she and Kossacks and others pounced on last month.

Scott Brown Awkwardly Finds Out That Obamacare Is Also Helping Republicans

The point of that introduction, which could have gone on even longer, is that Scott Brown winning a Senate seat in deep Blue Massachusetts (against the most feeble opposition from Martha Coakley) meant to Republicans that they could win anywhere as long as they ran against Obamacare.

Reporter: Sen. McConnell, how was Scott Brown received at the Republican lunch today?

McConnell: Well, we'd love to have Scott back. We're happy that he's running for the Senate. He's an old friend of ours, and no-one's election victory was more a symbol of public objection to Obamacare like Scott Brown's special election in January 2010, so an appropriate candidate in a year in which Obamacare is likely to be the biggest issue in the fall elections.

To which Rachel commented
Obamacare is not going to be the biggest issue in the fall election. Not any more. And that only became clear this past week, when Obamacare unexpectedly hit the 7 million enrollment number.
and then, she continued to explain, 3 million on Medicaid, and then the Gallup polling on the rate of uninsured Americans dropping fast and looking like it is going to drop even further. Only we know, of course, that it's 26 million or so in all. So far.

Did you know that Rachel's Ph. D. is in health policy analysis? She mentioned that a few days ago on the show. She is going to have such fun with this.

Have I mentioned that Rachel is sane? And have I mentioned Cognitive Dissonance and Obama Derangement Syndrome together yet? Hey, Republicans! Obamacare includes a treatment for that. You just sign up and encourage everybody else in sight to do the same. Including getting Red states to expand Medicaid, of course. The advanced treatment is a little more difficult, because it includes joining in the effort to achieve Single Payer. They say it grows on you.

OK, so Rachel. The big Republican idea, so-called, is that Obamacare would be a colossal failure.

[Ahem. A train wreck death spiraling into Obama's Waterloo and the worst mixed metaphor in political history!

Thank you.]

Obamacare is not failing, and that has absolutely rattled the cage of every Republican who's running for re-election this year who's planning on running for re-election by running against Obamacare, telling their constituents how terrible Obamacare is, how it doesn't work, and how a vote for the Republican candidate would help do away with it.
Rachel then cited the AP story on the little fix discussed above, on deductibles in employer-provided coverage, and the fact that Scott Brown refuses to say whether New Hampshire should expand Medicaid.

We could say that this is a Winston Churchill moment. Not the beginning of the end, but definitely the end of the beginning, as he said of chasing the Luftwaffe from British skies during WW II. (Yes, Godwin. Cope.)

Rachel then continued with a discussion with Frank Rich of New York Magazine about Republican retreat and the possibility of Democrats actually running on Obamacare, starting by asking young people whether they want health care taken away, and not just on economic populism such as the minimum wage.

Rachel has previously reported on Democrats running on the ACA, including showing clips from actual ads.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Mokurai on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 10:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives.

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