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President Barack Obama smiling and holding "get covered" sign.
Two months after Americans started getting health coverage under Obamacare's exchanges, it's working. The uninsured rate is dropping, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index shows. In the fourth quarter of 2013, 17.1 percent of Americans did not have health insurance. So far in 2014, that number has dropped to 15.9 percent.

The biggest drops in the uninsured rate—or gains in the insured rate—came among lower-income and black people. In late 2013, 30.7 percent of people earning less than $36,000 a year were uninsured; now, 27.9 percent are uninsured, a drop of 2.8 percentage points. The uninsured rate declined a similar 2.6 percentage points among black people. Latinos lag, with their uninsured rate having dropped just 0.8 points, a disappointment, and one perhaps linked to the troubled rollout of the exchanges:

With the highest uninsured rate of any racial or ethnic group, Latinos were expected to be major beneficiaries of the new health care law. They are a relatively young population and many are on the lower rungs of the middle class, holding down jobs that don't come with health insurance.

But the outreach effort to Hispanics got off to a stumbling start. The Spanish-language enrollment website, CuidadodeSalud.gov, was delayed due to technical problems. Its name sounds like a clunky translation from English: "Care of Health." A spot check of the Spanish site on Sunday showed parts of it still use a mix of Spanish and English to convey information, which can make insurance details even more confusing.

Every fraction of a percent that the uninsured rate drops is a political problem for Republicans and they know it, no matter how many so-called Obamacare horror stories they trot out, only to have them debunked. The Republican response to this survey may be to celebrate that the biggest drops in the uninsured rate have come among low-income people and black people—groups they've long ignored—but in their partisan world, where repealing President Barack Obama's signature achievement and defeating Democrats are more important than the well-being of non-wealthy Americans, such a noticeable and immediate drop in the uninsured rate is not good news. For the rest of us, and especially for people who can now go to the doctor without fear of bankruptcy, it's very good news.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  painting themselves into a corner (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sulthernao, Dvalkure, Jon Sullivan

      The only response Republicans know is to "double down" on their vanishing arguments.  This is what happens when belief contradicts data.  

      Not from the infinite and not from the nothingness--but from where the infinite and nothingness meet.

      by YankInUK on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:54:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The classic description appears in the book (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dvalkure, YankInUK, kjoftherock

        When Prophecy Fails, by Leon Festinger, Henry W. Riecken and Stanley Schachter, which gave us the phrase Cognitive Dissonance. After the failure of Mrs. Keech's alien beings' great flood on the predicted date, followers redoubled their faith and their efforts at proselytizing, and the congregation increased in size. The authors cite a number of similar historical examples among Anabaptists, Eastern European Jews, and others.

        This is the idea of the Ralph Reed Faith and Freedom Coalition, as expressed in their Road to Majority conference last year. The plan is to reach a majority by expelling all the RINOs and pushing for even nastier laws in Red states.

        I promise I'm not the one making this up.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:21:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As Bill Kristol explained to them in 1993 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dvalkure, MI Sooner

      and I Diaried in 2009.

      The sum of all GOP fears

      About HillaryCare. Which will be back in 2016, as the specter of single payer stalks Vermont. I wonder when they will bring it up again.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:05:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The drop is even more significant than that. (19+ / 0-)

    If you look at the graph in the linked Gallup piece, you can see that the percentage of uninsured was 18% just prior to the ACA kicking in.  And then there was an immediate, steep, consistent drop to 15.9%.  If the decline in the number of uninsured continues at this rate, then we will see a drop to below 14% by the end of march, which means that this will be the lowest percentage of uninsured since before the great recession.

    And that has happened just in the first year.  Imagine what an impact it will have 2 to 3 years from now!

    Tipped and recced.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:51:38 AM PDT

  •  Ok news -- not great or even good news, (6+ / 0-)

    it seems to me.  Frankly, a drop in the uninsured from 17% to 15% of the population is a relatively small drop.  

     The whole point of what was -- and will be, over the next few years as the delayed provisions kick in -- a major disruption in the then-existing health insurance system was to get the uninsured under the umbrella of health insurance.  In order to make sense to most people, the number of people who went from not being insured to being insured should outweigh the number of people who were, or will be, forced to change their coverage in some way as a result of the ACA.  Before the ACA, of those who had health insurance, over 85% rated that health insurance "excellent" or "good."  The basis for disrupting that significant approval by the vast majority of people of their OWN health insurance was to get the uninsured insured.  If that doesn't happen in really significant numbers, then what was the point of disrupting the system for all those who liked it?

    We need to wait until after April 1, after all the numbers come in and after we see how many people who signed up actually followed through and paid, to see how many of the previously uninsured now have insurance through the ACA.   In the meantime, with less than a month left, I don't think it's right to say that "any drop at all" in the rate of uninsured people is really, really good news.  Given all of the hoopla over the ACA, I think that people will be looking for more than "any drop at all."  

    •  Your concern is noted. nt (22+ / 0-)

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:39:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do me a favor. (21+ / 0-)

      Go spout this nonsense to someone who didn't have health insurance before but now does.

      Don't be offended if they point at you and laugh.

      How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

      by BenderRodriguez on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:42:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All of the concern (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        karmsy, Tonedevil, Jon Sullivan

        is rooted in either this:

        "Every fraction of a percent that the uninsured rate drops is a political problem for Republicans and they know it"

        or Obama Derangement Syndrome.

        Either one is really sad, this about people's lives and gaining political points/power or hatred of a person shouldn't be a factor.

        •  Except that it's not true. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, nextstep, divineorder

          There have to be enough fractions so that people cannot stand up at microphones and say "This is what happens when you rely on the federal government to get things done -- you spend a gazillion dollars for each person who gets insured -- and that's with crappy silver plans that only pay 70% of costs! Heck, it would be cheaper just to hand out free heart transplants".

          You might also ask union members with union-provided not-for-profit health plans how they're making out.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:39:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Except that that turns out not to be the case (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jon Sullivan, Tonedevil

            At FDR's peak, the demagogues were out in force against him. But he had a better case, and made it constantly.

            I welcome their hatred.
            Similarly for Thomas Jefferson over the Federalists in 1800, and for every political winner since. The opposition never goes away, and is always virulent.

            Yes, some unions took a hit. We should fix that. Look who won't let us. Well, we will take the House back, either this time or next time.

            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

            by Mokurai on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:02:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "But he had a better case" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              divineorder

              I think that's the point.  You want to be sure that you've got a better case.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:36:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  A perfect assessment of delusional dinotrac (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tonedevil

              Our son was fired after 7 years of loyal service to Marriot the day before his annual insurance policy was to be reinstated.

              He stood up to a female superior on several issues of ethics and character turning into a sort of pissing contest. She won.

              In other words as w/many corporations pissed because their man LOST election especially their Golden boy, they decided to cut heads to improve productivity and found in his superior the perfect little courier to make his life a living hell and then deliver the penalty as aforementioned the day before his insurance deadline renewal.

              This was a completely collaborated effort between many individuals w/superiority although few had seniority.

              This was very unfortunate but of course not an isolated case her or abroad. Capital has continued to make the case of who is in the drivers seat for short term job creation? I hope more people will begin to invest and support local markets and avoid wallmart modeled business w/only shareholders and Oligarchs in mind.

              Our son has found a entry level job not affording insurance and although he is in good health and strict vegan has trouble sleeping requiring medicine. At 27 years of age taking a job starting at just over 16k annually as his base,
              he was barely making his house payment w/his roommates
              undependable w/their job situations also inconsistent.

              He applied in Ariz. under Healthcare.gov and currently has better health and dental insurance than he did after his subsidy based on his income for just over $80 per month combined. His dental included 2 free cleanings, 1 X-ray and 1 oral examination annually as well as his medical carried a $500 deductible but after that a $45 copay for Dr. visits and $65 for specialists. Generic medication is $10 and preventive
              care is free. Health net is his provider and he is grateful for them and President Obama and Progressive supporters like
              Daily KO's, Common Dreams and Huff post bringing truth and light where there was only more misinformation, exploitation, inequality and oppression.

              Long live good people and straight talk like you Mokarui
              Please keep setting the record straight for all who care to find truth and fairness. A living wage, freedom of choice, affordable health care and contraception, equal opportunity,
              available advanced education and early child development for all, immigration reform, equality, and Hope of the American dream rather than broken promise's and supply side Rhetoric.

              Even when the "creators" refuse to hire and create if enough people believe and act responsibly we can replace them w/people rather than corporations to lift all humanity
              rather than just the few.  Bless all good people great and small regardless of who they love, where they come from or what they believe as long as it is near the Golden Rule.

              "Treat others as you would like to be treated"

              Never again a Rethuglican for the few.

                 

              Fox viewers seek a mascot for solidarity? Maybe an Ostrich? Seek Truth young birds....

              by Jon Sullivan on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:41:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  RE: Union Members. You that very important (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dinotrac

            part of the base of the Democratic Party?

            They may not be too happy, nor will many others when they realize that becoming under insured will be the new normal....

            The cost of private health insurance with comprehensive coverage has, for many years in a row, risen much faster than wages. Private health insurance premiums have become simply unaffordable. Recognizing this, the Affordable Care Act did two things.

            First, it put in place a system of tax credit subsidies for people not eligible for Medicaid, Medicare or employer-sponsored insurance. For those eligible (for example if your employer doesn’t offer health insurance) and whose incomes are below 400 percent of the poverty level (about $45,000 in annual income for a single-person household), the Official Health Plan Marketplace is the official way to obtain subsidies toward insurance premiums.

            Second, it established minimum coverage at 60 percent of expected costs of care, while planning to tax plans deemed to provide “too much” coverage – for example, truly comprehensive coverage earned through union struggles with large employers.

            When people shop for health insurance on the exchanges they can choose among plans that cover 60 percent, 70 percent or 80 percent of anticipated costs. The most affordable premiums come with high deductibles and other large out-of-pocket costs. Because employer-sponsored plans in general covered about87 percentof expected costs, underinsurance will become the new normal.

            The President has extended the time for people to keep their coverage.... for good reason it seems.

            Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

            by divineorder on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:40:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense? Is this now a reality-free zone? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        trumanesque, hmi, VClib, divineorder

        ACA occupied the attention of Congress for nearly a year -- a year with other major issues (it's the economy, stupd).
        We have spent huge amounts of money setting up exchanges and web sites, etc.

        We have forced individuals to contribute to the  profits of ravenous greedy beasts.

        Why is it nonsense to expect a bigger bang for the buck?
        If insuring the uninsured was a major goal of the act,  it seems fair to ask if ACA was an effective way to do it.

        We won't really know the answer to that for a while, but a nice return for the investment doesn't seem like a lot to ask.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:35:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Whoa, hold the phone... (6+ / 0-)

      coffeetalk thinks that a drop in the number of uninsured isn't good news? I'm truly shocked. I wonder if Pi Li and VClib think so too?

    •  facts to consider (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, amsterdam, Tonedevil, TexasTom

      only 17-18% of those insured purchase their own (Gallup), and that non-group coverage  includes  what you can see here:

      http://www.businessinsider.com/...

      This "Who paid" stuff is actually BS for the following reasons:

      1. current numbers suggest ~80% of a rolling market have paid (see also UPDATED: "But How Many Have Actually PAID???" Revisited) by Charles Gaba:

      The bottom line is this: Even the industry expert quoted by the anti-ACA sources above are admitting that the actual overall payment levels are currently at around 80% (which is, believe it or not, even higher than I figured). However, if most of the 20% unpaid enrollments don't start until March anyway, this is a complete non-issue.
      2. many unpaid could be processing issues at the insurer side (yes, that happens).
      3. while it is a non-trivial question, it has been trivialized by conservatives using it as an excuse to lowball numbers.

      So, sure, we need to track the numbers going forward. But Gallup's numbers are very encouraging as noted by Larry Levitttoday in the WaPo and twitter:

      “It’s an early possible sign of success. There’s been a lot of uncertainty about the effect the ACA is having on the number who are uninsured. Clearly people are signing up, and clearly Medicaid coverage is expanding. But many had their policies canceled. This is the first sign that the net of all that is still likely a decrease in the number of uninsured — it may be moving in the right direction.” [...]

      “We’ve been fighting about this law in the realm of  speculation for years. What we should be looking at primarily is, are more people getting covered? That’s the law’s fundamental aim. We will now start to see real data.”

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:14:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  btw, this is like the "health costs drop (4+ / 0-)

        due to ACA" arguments., Yes they dropped, or didn't speed up as quickly as they used to

        Is it all ACA? Some ACA? NO ACA?

        We don't know but it's all good.

        "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

        by Greg Dworkin on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:16:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Who pays? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        From the report linked in the diary:

        Fewer Americans Get Primary Coverage Through Employer

        The percentage of Americans who get insurance through a current or former employer fell nearly two points so far in the first quarter of 2014 to 43.4%. More Americans now say their primary health insurance coverage is through a plan fully paid for by themselves or a family member compared with at the end of 2013 -- 18.1% vs. 17.2%. The percentage who say they are covered primarily through Medicaid is also up slightly, likely because some states have chosen to expand Medicaid coverage

        .
        •  Add people who weren't getting coverage (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil

          Through their employer by getting on the exchanges, and the percentages that get it through their employer will appear to drop because more are added that don't get their coverage through their employer.

          Bet the same number are getting it through their employer, there have just been more added that don't, changing the percentages.



          Women create the entire labor force.
          ---------------------------------------------
          Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

          by splashy on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:18:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The real measure of ACA effectiveness in reducing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk

      the uninsured comes from measuring the percent decrease in uninsured after factoring out those who became insured with Medicaid, but not expanded Medicaid (as law prior to ACA covered them).  This data will come from surveys similar to what Gallop does - not looking at enrollments on exchanges as exchanges don't capture all new coverage and new cancellations.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:27:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't entirely agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, splashy, Tonedevil

      Especially with this:

      In order to make sense to most people, the number of people who went from not being insured to being insured should outweigh the number of people who were, or will be, forced to change their coverage in some way as a result of the ACA.
      While that's certainly part of it, that's only part of the purpose of the ACA, which also should have the effect of fixing the badly broken and dysfunctional market for individual health insurance policies.  That, in turn, means that people who are currently locked into jobs in order to keep their insurance now have choices that they didn't have before -- and that's a factor that won't show up in just looking at the percentage of people without health insurance.  Similarly, people that had crap insurance with very low annual caps were counted as insured in the past, but were effectively uninsured in the event of a major injury or illness.

      So, yes, the rate of uninsured is an important metric for evaluating the success of the ACA, but it's not the only metric by any means.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:43:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your concerns are based on Republican (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hbk, splashy, Tonedevil

      talking points. I hope your handle is not a reference to Ronald Reagan's rant against Medicare as Socialized Medicine in Operation Coffee Cup.

      The facts are otherwise.

      A ten percent drop in the number of uninsured against the implacable opposition and unending lies of Republicans is a BFD. It happened in only five months. A linear projection for fifty months, a little over four years, would give us 100%. That will not happen, but a majority of the uninsured should be covered by then, even if Republicans remain intransigent, and maintain the ability to block improvements in the program. In political terms, that is an eyeblink. Look at the history of RomneyCare for a comparison. Now imagine what we can do when we next take the House.

      Some people have lost insurance because their insurers refused to offer compliant policies, and tried to upsell them to much more expensive policies. All of them can get better insurance on the exchanges than they had before, the great majority at lower cost, often much lower cost. All of the cases put forward by Fox and Republican politicians have been debunked.

      States and HHS could tell us far more than they have about who is getting covered under exchange policies, off-exchange policies, the small business exchange, old Medicaid, new Medicaid, S-CHIP, and any programs specific to a particular state, and they could tell us far more about who among them previously had coverage, and of what kind. But few seem to think that that is their job.

      In New York, which has an exceptional situation, more than 70% of those enrolling are newly covered. The lowest national estimate I have seen, from a McKinsey study with an abysmally bad methodology, is 27%. Our brainwrap thinks that it is somewhere around 50%, on the basis of the sketchy data available, but can't actually pin in down. We shall see.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:58:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  President Obama has been criticized (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil

      for his latest change in some provisions of the ACA, however, when all is said and done, it is to make this monumental transition easier for all.  

      Last Wednesday, "Americans will be able to renew old health insurance plans for up to three years, even if the plans do not comply with ACA policies. Other provisions of the healthcare law have not yet gone into effect, such as the requirement for employers to provide health insurance to their employees by 2015 or 2016. These provisions also may affect the uninsured rate over time."

      It took Romneycare over one year for the health insurance reform to show real progress.  After only a few months of enrollment, it is interesting to read about the slowness of people getting "on board," and the gloom and negativity of the writer.  

      They will, and they are.

  •  Wait! This simply CANNOT be. After all, (21+ / 0-)

    this weekend, we were told by Sarah Palin that the number of uninsured has gone up.  Surely, you MUST be misktaken, Laura!

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:58:22 AM PDT

  •  Where does the data come from? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle

    It's always reassuring to have statistics down to a couple of decimal places. But I always wonder: How on earth do they know any of this? Is it based on a telephone survey of 100 random people and then extrapolated to the whole population? Do they survey cell phones or only landlines? Where is the data coming from, how was the question asked, and how did they choose the sample?

    Or are they just tapping into the NSA database that knows everything about me including my insurance status, my income, my race, and how many dust bunnies live under my bed?

    Without that information, the data is no more useful than whatever Karl Rove had in front of him the night of the 2012 election.

    •  i was wondering (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep

      what the breakout is by type of insurance for the 85-88% of the people with it. Is the decline primarily due to to the medicaid expansion?

      •  medicaid and exchange plans both grew (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smartdemmg

        "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

        by Greg Dworkin on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:19:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess i could work back to the (0+ / 0-)

          82-85% number from them. But that does suggest that it's the medicaid expansion rather than the employers who are the source. That could be from the mandate delays.

          Be better if the employer number were increasing.

        •  One thing to keep in mind -- most of those (0+ / 0-)

          exchange plans are the relatively crappy bronze and silver plans.  

          "Pre-exchange" standard insurance usually paid on an 80-20 basis, but bronze is 60-40 and silver is 70-30."

          That, I guess, is the payback for not capping lifetime benefits and capping total out-of-pocket at somewhat reasonable levels.  The downside is that it creates more of a disincentive to seek help when you are below the cap.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:45:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  here's what people select (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dinotrac, askew, smartdemmg, Dvalkure
            In general, the "Silver" plans have proved most popular among those still shopping around, those interviewed agreed.

            In exchange for higher premiums, each successive plan in general reduces the health costs for which the consumer is responsible.

            A bronze plan has a 60-40 percent split, 60 percent of costs the insurance company's responsibility, 40 percent the consumer's. A silver plan is akin to a 70-30 split, McCoy said, while a gold is 80-20.

            But those numbers are a little bit misleading, McCoy said, because many people are going to qualify for subsidies that can help absorb costs.

            Bronze is crappy, silver no so much. Also, the general trend nationwide  is more costs to insurees.

            http://insurancenewsnet.com/...

            "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

            by Greg Dworkin on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:02:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Numbers a bit misleading? Ummm...no. (0+ / 0-)

              Regardless of whether you are subsidized or not, the plan you choose is the plan you choose.

              We chose silver for our plan, and applied a subsidy to it.
              We chose silver for our daughter's plan, and received not subsidy.

              Hard to see the difference -- other than end-user price, of course.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:13:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I'm guessing you didn't click through... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheLizardKing, TexasTom
      These data are based on more than 28,000 interviews with Americans from Jan. 2-Feb. 28, 2014, as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
    •  Gallup statistics (0+ / 0-)

      "Survey Methods

      Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey Jan. 2-Feb. 28, 2014, with a random sample of 28,396 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia."

    •  You can see not only the numbers but their sources (0+ / 0-)

      state by state at Kossack brainwrap's ACA Signups Web site. Also numbers from surveys.

      Actual signup numbers to a specific date are supposed to be exact integers. Usually they are not exact. So extra decimal places are not reassuring. They are a symptom of spurious precision. Nate Silver has a humorous example up at FiveThirtyEight right now.

      We're planning to relaunch FiveThirtyEight on March 17, a week from Monday.

      As with all plans, this one could go awry. We're still completing final testing on the new website, and tweaking the final elements of the site's design. But we estimate the probability of a March 17 launch at 90.617854%.

      Also,
      Anybody who is of the notion that a one hundred percent count automatically provides the true figure should try counting and re-counting a heap of boiled peas the size of a dunce cap until he gets the same answer twice.
      Sampling in a Nutshell, by Morris James Slonim (1960) Out of print, but available used at a very reasonable price. Highly recommended.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:22:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm thinking the GOP won't be celebrating... (8+ / 0-)

    the expansion of Medicaid that produced those big gains among low-income people.

    But we sure should be.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:07:43 AM PDT

    •  Of course not. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader

      They are still trying to dismantle it, as seen in Paul Ryan's latest "budget" nonsense.

      It keeps being a toy for Republican politicians to play with -- just as I predicted it would be when someone had the lame idea to lump all the poor onto the program at once.

      Why didn't they put them on Medicare? No way would that have become their new plaything.

      It was immensely short-sighted of those working on the ACA to not see that as soon as more people were added to Medicaid, the right would work even harder to destroy it.

      Then what happens to those people? Oh, I know. They don't care.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:47:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because that's not what Medicare is for? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TexasTom

        Because the idea of expanding Medicare, embraced for a time by the White House, was rejected by Congress?

        Speaking of not caring, I can't help but notice that you don't find the topic of millions of people gaining health insurance under a government-run single-payer system to be worth acknowledging, except to complain about it and talk about how you totally weren't wrong in your old blog thread debates.

        Nice values you got there.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:01:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How many states took the expansion? (0+ / 0-)

      Here in Texas, they turned it down.
      To our chagrin, they also turned it down Missouri where out daughter goes to school.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:46:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good nt (3+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:25:59 AM PDT

  •  Republican horror stories (5+ / 0-)

    "I had fungus on my big toenail -- and OBAMACARE is to blame!"

    But their real horror story? The ACA starting to work.

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:32:48 AM PDT

  •  Ooooh this is bad: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, wader, scott jones
    With the highest uninsured rate of any racial or ethnic group, Latinos were expected to be major beneficiaries of the new health care law
    Can't have that! Pesky aliens sucking up our healthcare! Or something something brown menace!

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:38:13 AM PDT

    •  Especially if it means (0+ / 0-)

      taking Gummint money that we already paid in taxes, so if we don't want it somebody else gets it.

      Especially if it means not shutting down Emergency Rooms and whole hospitals because Ronald Reagan required them to give care to the uninsured, and didn't provide anywhere near enough reimbursement. Sorry, what was that you were saying about unfunded government mandates?

      Because the ACA cut hospital reimbursement for ER care, shifting the money to the Medicaid expansion that 26 states haven't taken so far. Mostly the ones with the greatest amount of poverty and the poorest health. Trying to make us healthier is Tyranny!

      Well, it took 17 years for the original Medicaid program to get to all 50 states. This should be somewhat quicker, if the demographic trends hold.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:31:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Outstanding news, thanks. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, wader

    The Koch-roaches, they are all in a dither.

    Shit like this is why.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:38:34 AM PDT

  •  Question (0+ / 0-)

    How could the rate of uninsured not drop?

    I have seen this headline several times and I feel like I'm missing something.

    •  I see your problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nance

      You are trying to operate in the evidence-based world, where Republican talking points are not taken as evidence of anything other than the falling fortunes of the Republicans. But we still have to debunk them.

      Haven't you heard that everybody and his second cousin's girlfriend's brother got dumped off totally wonderful insurance because Obamascare!? and Benghazi!!!

      Except that it turns out that everybody claiming to have lost insurance neglected to go on the Exchanges and find out that they were required to get much better insurance, usually at lower cost. Or they refused pointblank to do so, due to untreated Obama Derangement Syndrome. We have a cure for that, you know, but first you have to admit that you have a problem.

      My wife and I were tabling for ACA Navigator services at a Kroger supermarket a few days ago. One local loony told my wife that Obama deserved a bullet between the eyes, and he was just the man to do it.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:43:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd also like there to be some discussion ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    reginahny, Dvalkure

    ... about medical bankruptcies, and how those numbers are changing (assuming they are).  That's a number i think a lot of people can relate to, because so many were living in fear that a health crisis could ruin them financially.

  •  But, But Ted Cruz Said...... (0+ / 0-)

    I must call his office ASAP & share the good news.  Ditto for Mitch McConnell & John Boehner.  They'll want to get right on this & try to repeal the ACA act for the 51st time.

    Good luck w/ that, boys.  

  •  When is the ACA approval going to hit (0+ / 0-)

    positive terriroty and become more favorable than unfavorable. If it works but people don't like it or believe it it still becomesa a political liability. Thats the concern we are all ingoring and we do so at our detriment

    a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.

    by Jamesleo on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:04:32 AM PDT

  •  The GOP never learns - stop listening to yourself (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight

    and go get some objective analysis.

    You'd think after they blew it with "Romney in a Landslide" they would leave their echo chamber and use objective analysis to chart their political strategy.

    Alas, and of course, not.

    The idea the Obamacare is going to implode onto itself and the fact they they are pinning all their 2014 hopes in it, is another example of them following the advice of hucksters like Rove, Morris et al.

    Sucks to be them.

    "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

    by We Shall Overcome on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:09:06 AM PDT

  •  It's too bad the headline isn't... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patricia Lil

    "Uninsured rate drops to virtually zero as tens of millions of Americans automatically enrolled in (improved) Medicare".  

    Oh well... We've still got a long way to go.  I don't believe we'll ever crack 90% coverage without
    a) expanding Medicaid in every state and
    b) having some sort of auto-enrollment for the uninsured.

    •  I'm underwhelmed. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scott jones

      Sure, I'm glad for those who now have insurance and those who have more affordable insurance.

      But this is barely more than a 1% decline.  Depending on how the uninsured were measured, it could be statistical noise.  

      •  At this point (0+ / 0-)

        The ACA has almost managed to erase the increase in uninsured Americans caused by the great recession, returning rates of uninsured back down to what they were in 2009 at the beginning of the Obama presidency.  This is good, but hardly cause for dancing in the streets.

  •  African Americans and the Poor (0+ / 0-)

    become convinced government can work and that Republicans want to take away their new found healthcare will give them both a reason to vote more and a reason to not vote GOP.
          The GOP on the other hand loses the votes of every one of their voters who has a friend or relative who is helped by Obamacare.
        Could things get any worse for the GOP?

  •  Yes we can !!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dvalkure

    vaguely remember this? :)

  •  Chances are this will effect the next election (0+ / 0-)

    and if the GOP can't stop Obamacare next election they never will and Obamacare will cost them the White House in the election after that.
       So of course I expect a coup.

  •  from the report (0+ / 0-)
    For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
    looking at the data in the chart, the data has been bouncing around in the 16-17% range with no real significant trend, though somewhat upwards.

    It'll take a few more datapoints to see if the rate drops below what was seen in 2009-2010, let alone what it was pre great-recession.

  •  Like a shampoo ad (0+ / 0-)

    This will start to have exponential impact.  

    James got health care and he told his friend, who told his friend, who told his friend.

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:23:38 AM PDT

  •  Will someone here at KOS please...PLEASE (0+ / 0-)

    do a piece about how f*cked up the system is in Massachusetts??????!!!???

    I lost my health insurance through Trader Joe's on 12/31. They decided to stop coverage for anyone not averaging 30 hours a week or more. U fell just under the line.

    I have been trying to get covered through MassHealth since the fall. I finally called and was told to go online, print our the forms and send them in by mail.

    I did that, but got nothing. Even though they extended the enrollment to 12/31, they still couldn't get it together. I did talk to someone recently and they said I was in the system and should be getting a letter "soon."

    A coworker told me the letter should state that I am covered, in case I need to see a doctor, as well as what I will pay a month for insurance.

    But considering that we had a system in place before the ACA, it should have been easy for Massachusetts to seamlessly go into the ACA. Instead, Mass hired CGI, the same outside contractor that screwed up Federal ACA enrollment.

    As of 12/31, only 500 people were able to complete their applications. FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE.

    It is now March 10th and I still have no health care. I haven't even received the letter yet.

    And I have seen NOTHING in the media (except the Globe) or on DailyKos about how the the one state who had a system before the ACA got so screwed up!

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:30:35 AM PDT

  •  A 2 percent drop in the uninsured rate (0+ / 0-)

    is a success?

  •  The uninsured rate will end up almost zero (0+ / 0-)

    It's the law, right?  Won't the uninsured rate end up zero with the exception of those that choose to pay a fine for not being insured?

    That's what this law is about.  If this rate doesn't fall, then it's a failed law, right?

    •  No, because... (0+ / 0-)

      ...the law doesn't apply to everyone, and has never been predicted to bring the rate to almost zero.

      Specifically, undocumented immigrants are excluded from coverage under the law (ie, they don't get the subsidies), and a significant percentage of people are going to be exempted for other reasons (religious reasons, lack of affordable coverage for those who aren't eligible for subsidies due to income).

      Had the Supreme Court not gutted the Medicaid expansion portion of the ACA, the eventual projected rate of uninsured would have dropped to around 5%, as I recall.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:52:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm pretty sure the ACA was billed as "healthcare for all".  Oh, yes, I'm sure they were not talking about undocumented people.  I mean, no one thinks that American taxpayers should pay for health care for people being here illegally.  But, I really did get the impression that every citizen in America was going to have health care or be fined if they didn't with some very few exceptions that you've noted.

        •  Yes, really (0+ / 0-)

          Undocumented immigrants alone will account for around 3% who remain uninsured, and those miscellaneous exemptions are maybe another couple percent.  

          95% coverage would look pretty good in a country that has been hovering below 85%.  It's not perfect, but it's pretty good.

          Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

          by TexasTom on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:44:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Proud to be one of those former uninsured (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MaikeH

    Although technically, that's incorrect.  My timeline is:

    2008:  Had to drop my Kaiser coverage, as it was just too expensive to continue.  It was going up to just over $600/month for me alone.  I was (an am still) working for a small employer who could subsidize $150 of that monthly premium, but I couldn't afford to pay the rest.

    2008-2011: no health coverage.  Received pretty good health care through a local health care center, and prayed that I wouldn't have any serious health issues or injuries.  Fortunately, I did not.

    2011-end of 2013:  Got health coverage through the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP).  However, my health care center wasn't one of their covered doctors, so I continued to pay out of pocket for my visits and prescriptions.  Still, if anything serious had happened, I was covered.  And I did have a mammogram and a colonoscopy in 2013 that were covered except for a relatively small co-pay.

    as of 01/01/14 - received Kaiser coverage through CoveredCA, with a subsidy.  The rate is less than $200/month, my office visit co-pay is $15, and everything is covered except for dental.  Very pleased.

  •  ¡Ay, caramba! ¡Gringos! (0+ / 0-)

    ACA is unfortunately Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio, or in full Ley de Protección al Paciente y Cuidado de Salud Asequible. The correct Spanish for health care is Asistencia sanitaria in Spain, or atención médica, asistencia médica, atención sanitaria or atención de salud in other Spanish-speaking countries. Still, cuidado is listed as a synonim for asistencia in Spanish Wiktionary, and Spanish speakers will know what the phrase means, so we can now say that cuidado de salud is, by fiat, the correct US Spanglish for health care. ^_^

    Here it is on Univision.

    Seguros de Salud

    Aprende aquí todo sobre los seguros de salud y la Ley de Cuidado de Salud.

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:03:06 AM PDT

  •  Yes but no. Yes, more are getting insured. (0+ / 0-)

    Yes Baby! Insurance companies are raking in the premiums, both from people and from uncle sam paying for them. Yes, yes, yes, Medicare still can't negotiate drug prices and drug importation and reimportation are still outlawed.

    Now as to the matter of a substantial improvement in the timely delivery of high quality medical care to all who need it, and the corresponding decline in things like child mortality, chronic illness, and stuff like that, the jury is still out.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:41:48 AM PDT

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