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Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Rep. Eric Cantor and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Fun times ahead for this crew on Obamacare.
Health insurance enrollments are moving along swimmingly, says Wellpoint, the parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, with plans sold all over the country. In fact, they say, they are well ahead of expectations and think they'll get a million new enrollments this year.
“We are encouraged by the sizable growth opportunities,” said Wellpoint chief executive Joe Swedish in an hour-long conference call with Wall Street analysts and investors.
Though it’s early in analyzing the data from new applications of for coverage, Wellpoint executives said “80 percent were not previously insured by Wellpoint,” executives said on the call this morning.

It’s unclear whether they are newly insured or came from another plan, but executives said they were pleased the company was benefiting from new customers.

More than 80 percent of these new enrollments, Wellpoint says, came through the health insurance exchanges and the large majority of those—two-thirds—were eligible for subsidies. That's a heck of a lot of people having the positive experience of buying affordable health insurance. Win-win. Wellpoint gets a boatload of new paying customers, and most those paying customers get a break on premiums.

Who loses? Republicans who have to face the reality that Obamacare isn't going to collapse and that all these newly insured people are going to get used to having decent, affordable health insurance really fast.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:49 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  GOP reactionary lexicon: reset, repeal, resist /nt (12+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:57:52 AM PST

  •  The media will TOTALLY ignore this story. (10+ / 0-)

    Only Obamacare horror stories are noteworthy.  

  •  So why won't Blue Shield accept our paperwork?! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, WisVoter, shoeless

    Covered CA says we're good to go, Blue Shield; crickets. My wife needs her prescriptions.

  •  This was always the end game for them (28+ / 0-)

    The great conservative/GOP fear was Obamacare succeeding. It destroys their whole "government is the problem" meme. It creates another public benefit backed by the federal government.

    Like social security, medicare, 40 hour week, interstate highways, food & drug regs, pollution regs, financial regs, unemployment insurance, student loans, and a host of other benefits that make us a more livable and civilized society.

    It shows that the government is more than a military state. That there is more to government than choosing the next targets in an endless war. Or amassing even more weaponry.

    We may not be Athens, but we are not Sparta.

    They knew that the ACA would be popular once it got up and running. When people started getting the coverage, and then the care, they needed.

    That is why they fought it so viciously. They tried to make Democrats and the President unelectable. They have tried to make the country ungovernable. They are trying to disenfranchise millions of voters.

    But Obamacare stands. People are signing up. All but the most obstinate states are expanding medicaid. Now even insurers are content, if not happy.

    They will continue their assault on the President and Obamacare. But they know they cannot repeal its most popular features. There is no conservative plan that can do what Obamacare does, not for the money. The only thing better than Obamacare is a public option or - godforbid - single payor.

    Their kamikaze attacks have not worked, have not stopped Obamacare. But they have no alternative but to keep launching them. Or surrender.

    The country, on the other hand, will start to move on. People will listen less and less to these clowns. We may move on to single payor, or at least a public option. We will most certainly not go backwards.

    Peace on Earth was all it said.

    by BobBlueMass on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:33:53 AM PST

    •  But I want Single Payer Universal... (5+ / 0-)

      like much of the rest of the industrialized West and, increasingly, the rest of the world that realizes that sickness is a cost to high to bear and that health is not really that expensive when you take out the parasites -- I mean the 1%ers who want to extract a profit even from air and saline solution...

      Ugh. --UB.

      "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

      by unclebucky on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:57:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a feeling years from now... (4+ / 0-)

        With Obamacare fully implemented, Obama long out of office, Republicans will embrace it, no longer calling it Obamacare. They'll be pointing out saying how much the private market has helped our healthcare system; never mind them whitewashing the term "obamacare" or "socialized medicine", "govt takeover", while a growing number of Democrats will be calling for single payer. It's an irony, but I see that happening long after Obama's out of office.

      •  It will come. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BobBlueMass, ruellia, unclebucky

        It will just come slower than we would like.

        But it WILL happen. It's the next logical step and upgrade to Obamacare. Especially when states are able to do it themselves in 2017 or whenever, it'll be like marijuana and gay marriage: state by state it will happen.

        Slow and steady sucks, but it's progress.

      •  Summmed Up in First Line of Statement (0+ / 0-)
        “We are encouraged by the sizable growth opportunities”
        Because nothing else matters but profits on misery...
      •  Me. Too. Three. Four. Five.... (0+ / 0-)

        I hear ya. Still not convinced we could not have gotten a public option.


        Obamacare is the new normal. Barring a complete disaster for the Dems this year or 2016, it is not going away. This was the conservative healthcare reform, so they have nothing to replace it with. There is no way to keep the popular stuff (pre-existing conditions, subsidies, kids til 26) and get rid of the rest. Not without putting a world of hurt on their insurer buddies.

        And pressure will build, as states move forward, to move on to at least a public option. That is the next battle, moving this forward.

        They have lost this battle.

        Peace on Earth was all it said.

        by BobBlueMass on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:27:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  We don't want to be Athens either (0+ / 0-)

      that cuts a little too close to home for me: a democracy that ran a brutal empire. We're not there yet but there are many in this country who have no problem with the idea.

  •  Republicans Much More Devious Than That (7+ / 0-)

    Don't underestimate the Republican Party.  They will do what they always try to do with a highly successful progressive law, disassemble it by using some convoluted disingenuous mechanism and logic that somehow looks like they're trying to help or improve it while they're really trying to repeal it one part at a time.  These people are experts at the political sleight of hand and unmitigated hypocrisy and gall.  

    •  Don't overestimate them either (7+ / 0-)

      which is what we do 90% of the time.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 12:02:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They will also just lie -- a lot (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      artmartin, ruellia

      They are already saying Obamacare is hurting families. It's in the ads that Americans for Prosperity (Koch funded) is repeating over and over in some states, attacking Democratic senate candidates, like Bruce Braley (IA). It was part of Cathy McMorris-Rodgers' Republican response to the SOTU with her phony claim about someone with a $700 premium increase.

      Most people don't see direct benefits of Obamacare. When they see those lies repeated over and over, they begin to believe them.

      •  That's why it's important for us in DKos (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to counter that argument.

        •  debating on DKos (0+ / 0-)

          does nothing but help us set strategy and get info straight.  NOBODY that is not a basic political junkie reads this place.  Few even know it exists.  I can't tell you the number of people that look at me like I'm speaking a foreign language when I mention DailyKos.  As a resource for info it's amazing but the places we need to spread the word is out on social media and in directly talking to our family, friends, and neighbors.

      •  THE INFORMATION AGE (0+ / 0-)

        The Information Age is here to stay & even the most dedicated Neo No Nothing or inbred trailer park trash will eventually discover just who was really telling the truth & who was lying. I pity the Republicans when that day comes because those people are DANGEROUS when riled up.

    •  next tactic: repeal risk-leveling of ins companies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annan, jim bow

      ...that's the provision of the ACA which sets up a cross-compensation pool among health insurance companies such that if, given the take-all-comers nature of the ACA any particular insurance company winds up with a disproportionate share of higher-risk, sicker patients, they get offsetting compensation from this pool.  (I'm not sure what the correct technical name for this ACA provision is).

      That would truly be a potential wrecking ball to the essential risk-balancing mechanism of the ACA, without which the ACA becomes a far riskier proposition for the insurance companies to sustain.

      •  Plenty of ways to muck up risk pools (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Because Republicans seem to think they can get away with using disingenuous words like "bailout" to describe a risk equalization program (do they really want to go back to the days when health insurers in the individual insurance market competed on risk selection?  I thought that was part of the point of Obamacare -- and to create a more equal society that does not punish people because of their circumstances), they're going for that one next.

  •  So, Republicans, what's plan "B?" (4+ / 0-)

    And I don't mean your own health care plan, because we know that's a joke. I mean what's your plan "B" for the midterms? Because if Obamacare is a success, then your plan to run entirely on it's failure is worthless. Any other ideas? Anyone?

    Why do I have a feeling that the GOP's current "Obamacare Sucks" midterm strategy is about as well-thought out as Gingrich's "All Monica" strategy for 1998?

    •  Don't overestimate the voting public (10+ / 0-)

      My new insurance is great, but keep that damned Obamacare away from me!

      Yes, DailyKos DOES have puzzles! Visit us here Saturday nights @ 5:00 PDT (easier puzzles) and Sunday nights @ 5:00 PDT (more challenging) for a group solving party. Even if you just pop in and comment while watching the fun, everybody is welcome.

      by pucklady on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:45:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're Right To Point This Out But That's On The (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat, artmartin, shoeless

        democratic candidates running for office. If Pryor, Hagen, Nunn, or Begich are so gun shy that they can't knock that one down then they'll deserve to lose. But I fully expect Landrieu, Lundgren-Grimes, Christ, Scott Walker's opponent, and all of our House candidates to beat their GOTP opponents silly with the success of Obamacare and/or the absence of expanded Medicaid in their states.

  •  I think we're going to see something analogous (5+ / 0-)

    to global warming go down.

    The RWNM will continue to deny that anything is happening, or at least, anything worth paying attention to.

    In the meantime the real world, represented by billions of dollars in investments, will quietly position itself in accordance with observed reality.

    Unlike climate change, there's no one making billions off people NOT having insurance. That's the key difference.

    I'm on a mission! Testing the new site rules.

    by blue aardvark on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:48:37 AM PST

  •  (assuming the ACA becomes woven inextricably (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    starduster, a2nite, Aunt Pat

    into our fabric over the years), it will be indistinguishable from countless other marketplaces set up by the fed govt, or facilitated by the fed govt, that steered tons of business to large corporations.  (eg:  energy, communications, everything).

    The idea, even to a Republican, that somehow this was a govt takeover, will seem preposterous.  Oops, that would be to an honest republican, and they are as endangered as the black rhino.

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:49:19 AM PST

  •  GOP has reality-itis, and there's no spray for it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    starduster, Aunt Pat

    So, now what?

    Who, what, where, when, how and why will be the new GOP/TPer party scapegoat?

    Metric System? They tried that since the 70s, and most international business depends on the metric system... Only rednecks and uneducated teababbluers demand the old system anymore.

    The French Language? Oops, but we still have french fries, Law French, and a myriad of terms and loan words that are forever part of English.

    Spanish! Oops, but sorry, there is more Spanish being spoken in the USA than before France owned the Louisiana territory (Spain owned it prior to France), or before the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848.

    Made in China? Ooops again. But the GOP/TP and its back-room boys made THAT possible! Even spacecraft are being made in China. I wouldn't doubt that a large portion of technology used for space is made there.

    Women? Don't do it, GOP, the ladies are becoming aware of what you are up to (or where you are up to...) and they don't like it, and they are about to smack their husbands, fathers and boyfriends if they don't relent.

    Sick people? LGBT people? Senior people? The tide is turning, GOP/TPers...

    Not a scapegoat to be found. Wait! WAIT! Water!!!

    They could fight over water! In Paraguay!

    Ugh. --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:55:20 AM PST

  •  Does Obamacare cover waaaambulance rides? (3+ / 0-)
  •  Before you know it, insurance co. execs are going (5+ / 0-)

    to be building monuments to Obama. GOP really fucked up.  Theyve driven one of their core business constituents (and this is a MASSIVE business constitutents, and now about to get even bigger) right into the Democratic fold.

    I'm not judging this either way, but from a political standpoint, this is major Obama coup and massive GOP fail.

    Imagine the most profound idea ever conceptualized occupying this space. Now expect exactly the opposite. You'll never be disappointed.

    by Gurnt on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 07:57:21 AM PST

    •  well I've suspected all along (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gurnt, ruellia

      that the deciding vote of the Supreme Court to rule the ACA constitutional, was due to the insurance companies, drooling over the new pool of customers, telling John Roberts to vote as he did.  They love it....but on their own terms.  Our job is to take those terms away in the future.

  •  Repill The Bill.......That's our story and we're (0+ / 0-)

    sticking to it.

  •  My very Republican brother who just (8+ / 0-)

    two months ago said he would never sign up for this socialist nightmare now finds himself in desperate need for insurance. He still hates Obama but he knows this is his only hope.

    He also told me about a friend of his who didn't have insurance because it was $4000 a month for a family of 4 now does have it for $400 a month.

    He is a big talk radio fan and when he does get and use his insurance he will be listening to hosts tell him how much of a failure obamacare  is while finding out how great it is.

    I don't know how that will play since the one thing he is immune to is cognitive dissonance.

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:04:56 AM PST

  •  It makes it hard to run for repeal of Obamacare (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ahumbleopinion, artmartin

    especially those in closely fought districts, in the midterm elections when one can point to countless statements made by GOP leaders that repeal of the law is unrealistic at this point.  

    Hidden in the favorable/unfavorable poll numbers were always those respondents on the left who don't like Obamacare because to them it doesn't go far enough, they prefer a single payer health care system.  Those people (about 10%, 11% of "unfavorable" respondents) don't want repeal to the previous status quo or a faux Republican "plan," but they want to see it go even further towards government control of health care.  Thus, the true reality picture is that the ACA is more "popular" than "unpopular" with the American people, as single payer backers are looking at the law as a mere stepping stone to eventual adoption of a European style single-payer system (and would clearly not favor repeal at this point.)  

    The Democrats have some strong issues to run on this cycle, one that meets with the backing of a majority of Americans:  Raising the national minimum wage, marriage equality for all,  no return to the old status quo when it comes to health care,  in several states adoption of a law to legalize medical marijuana, etc.  All Republicans have is repeal of Obamacare, which might play in deeply red districts but not so well in purple ones.    

  •  Any comments from the big insurance companies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that elected to sit out the exchanges in some states this year?

    “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

    by ahumbleopinion on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:11:03 AM PST

    •  I look forward to that story (0+ / 0-)

      unfolding in 2014. Only 2 insurers (wellpoint/anthem and a non-profit) are covering all of Central Indiana, including the Indy Metro area.

      Unless that's been rigged by design by the Insurance Commission, I can't imagine such a large market staying a virtual monopoly going forward

      "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

      by annan on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 09:00:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Their focus now is more sabotage than repeal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...not that the GOP hasn't ALSO been trying to sabotage the ACA all along by e.g. GOP-controlled states refusing to participate in exchange or medicaid expansion, or to allow state agencies to cooperate with implementation.

    However, their next planned attack is more subtle, but potentially damaging if they were able to pull it off - attempt to block or repeal the portion of the ACA that compensates insurance companies who wind up with disproportionate shares of higher-risk, higher-cost patients in their coverage pool.  It's this provision that is a key part of making it financially feasible for individual insurance companies to take on all comers for their ACA plan offerings.

    I don't think they are going to succeed in blackmailing the dems or Obama into accepting any such change, but that's going to be one of their "hostage" demands in the imminently-upcoming debt ceiling negotiations.

  •  as soon as obama care (0+ / 0-)

    sinks in as the law of the land the gop will begin to refer to it as the aca, can't give 44 credit for anything don't you know.

    save america defeat all republicans and conservatives

  •  This diary is not accurate on one point. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, True North

    Joan says WellPoint is the parent of BlueCross BlueShield. In fact WellPoint is the parent of only certain BCBS companies.

    I mention this so no one gets confused about their own
    BCBS policy. BCBS operates similarly to a franchise. Each state has a BCBS and operate independently, but must abide by certain approaches and rules. Some have sold out to thers, while others remain completely separate.

    •  Good info, I wondered about that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Wellpoint's HQ is in Indy, with Anthem as the local provider. BCBS in Indiana was absorbed by Anthem here and is no longer non-profit. Always found that a bit confusing.

      "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

      by annan on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 09:05:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans opposed the Republican plan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they were at the depths of Obama Derangement Syndrome when the ACA passed, and couldn't support anything that Obama did, even when it was their own damn Republican/Romney/Heritage/Dole plan.  

    If the GOP survives for another generation, the new candidates should just admit that it was foolish to oppose it, let it go and move on.  But I think the teabaggers are a cancer that will destroy the party.  

    •  Just wait in the years ahead (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annan, sja

      longer after Obama's out of office, they'll whitewash everything they've claimed about. They will point out the success of the private market and take credit for it, while more and more Democrats will be calling for single payer. I guarantee this will happen when Obama fades from their memory.

  •  Nelson Muntz says (0+ / 0-)

    HA HA!!!

    Darling, you didn't use canned salmon, did you?

    by JrCrone on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 09:09:52 AM PST

  •  Yup. I'm part of those numbers. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    As of 2/1, insured through BC/BS. :) First insurance I'll have had in over ten years.

  •  Can't get too excited (0+ / 0-)

    So I'm supposed to feel all warm and fuzzy because insurance execs are happily making piles of money?  This was their plan all along, it's just that in the short term the crazy got the better of the greed in the Republican party.

  •  I don't know what this "Wellpoint" is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but clearly they hate the job creators, and they don't know about Benghazi.

    In fact, they didn't even mention Benghazi during that conference call. Are we sure this isn't a Hillary Clinton front group?

    Glenn Beck and Tim Huelskamp are going to get on this right away Liberals. YOU MESSED UP NOW!

    When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

    by PhillyJeff on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:00:37 AM PST

  •  Small correction: (0+ / 0-)

    Wellpoint is not the parent company of Blue Cross.  Blue Cross is an association of insurers consisting of 37 different plans operating in different geographical areas which cover the US and Puerto Rico.  Wellpoint/Anthem has bought a majority but not all of the franchises.

    Play chess for the Kossacks on Join the site, then the group at

    by rhutcheson on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:34:58 AM PST

  •  Hmmmm, Boehner and Cantor don't have (0+ / 0-)

    flag pins on!!  What's the GOP coming to????

    Conservatism is a function of age - Rousseau
    I've been 19 longer'n you've been alive - me

    by watercarrier4diogenes on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 09:35:07 PM PST

  •  AFFORDABLE Care? Not in Indianastan (0+ / 0-)

    Glad it's working for someone, but if I don't find a part time job that covers health insurance coverage we are f*cked.  We are just barely over the 400% of poverty, and in Indiana, the cheapest bronze policy I could get for the three of us was $1050.  Please note the bronze policies do not protect you from bankruptcy, and I don't know about you, but I just cannot afford to pay 18% of my after tax income for health insurance.  It absolutely infuriates me that after living a very frugal life I am told, tough sh*t.  You want health care access, you pay.  So my choice is to bankrupt myself paying premiums I can't afford or go bankrupt when I get sick and my crappy policy I CAN afford doesn't pay anything.  It also helps for the talking heads on MSNBC to tell me I'm either lying (if only I was and would wake up and realize, magically, I DO get subsidized premiums) or I'm (sniff) statistically insignificant.  Replace 'statistically insignificant' with 'social disease' and you have the tone of voice and facial expression.  Plus, that $1050 a month is the CHEAPEST it will ever be.  Thanks so much, folks.  The affordable care act has literally made coverage unaffordable.  

  •  It is currently changing my life (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Certifiable Genius, catilinus

    I am a brain tumor survivor. Thus, I was unable to purchase insurance of any sort. Even though I am not at any real risk of getting another tumor, I was not worthy of buying my own coverage. After the ACA, I bought a beautiful Gold plan and it was just under $300. I take a few medicines and I spent more than that every month on prescriptions.

    The first prescription I bought,  I was able to get the correct dosage for the first time in three years. I couldn't afford the right dosage because they charged by the pill and two times a day a $4 a pill is just not feasible. But lo and behold, a three month script under the ACA provider saved me $750. Another medicine dropped down from $240 a month to a nice round $15.

    It isn't just about the savings; it is about being afforded the dignity to pay for myself and to get the care I need and medicines that help make my like livable. I received no medicaid assistance for my premiums and I really don't mind. It is an expense I am happy to pay.

  •  A.H.A. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Certifiable Genius

    Well you know the Tea-Party knew this would happen. That is why they came out so hard on this. They knew they had to get it early, if not they knew they were done.

  •  Fast, as in by the November election (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Certifiable Genius
    ...all these newly insured people are going to get used to having decent, affordable health insurance really fast.
    Next fall I hope lots and lots of those newly insured folks go get their FREE flu shots in time to show their appreciation at the ballot box.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 04:05:17 PM PST

  •  Facts... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Facts have little to do with Republicans and how they respond to Obama's initiatives.

    The ACA could have been the most successful program ever, though as long as it shows that Government can actually do good, they'd be against it.

    It also seems to be resulting in significantly cheaper insurance costs for people who are enrolled, which benefits lots of poorer and middle class people.

    Which means that it goes against everything that Republicans claim to stand for, despite how it enriches insurance providers.

  •  But, but, but... (0+ / 0-)

    It's going to collapse under it's own weight!  We can't have everyone in this Nation being healthy!  That's downright... un-American!  And... Benghazi!

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