Carol M. Ostrom shows how ACA should properly be covered (hint: she's a health reporter, not a political reporter):
Nobody disputes that enrollment in taxpayer-supported Medicaid, already above its 2017 target, will make a serious dent in the numbers of uninsured. But the ACA, in the end, hinged on bringing the uninsured into the private marketplace.Ostrom goes through all the reasons it's not easy to know.
When the dust settles, will Washington, one of the most successful states in enrolling residents in health insurance plans through its exchange, have accomplished that goal?
In the legislative work session, Dammeier, Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, and Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, all demanded a number from Onizuka: How many of those who are getting health coverage through the exchange were previously uninsured?Once you read through that, you'll have a better sense of what Charles Gaba has accomplished at acasignups.net, wading through data like this to make sense of it.
Onizuka couldn’t satisfy the lawmakers. “That’s a harder number for us to get,” he said, stumbling to find the right phrases. “We’re trying to get that.”
Why is that number so elusive?
Here’s one reason: At this point, there’s no good way to track individual people’s insurance choices. It would be easier if Carol M. Ostrom had to report her insurance status monthly to Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. Then we would know whether she used to be uninsured.
But that’s not the case, at least not now.
So, the lawmakers asked Onizuka, did the exchange at least ask those signing up: Do you have insurance?
It sounds simple enough but, in fact, it’s complicated, too.
Last year, the Healthplanfinder application caught people in the midst of transition, and people who had a plan that was being discontinued might reasonably have answered: “Sort of.”
If they had insurance at the moment they signed up, and answered, “yes,” the website sometimes wouldn’t allow them to move the application ahead, local sign-up assisters say. If they eventually answered, “no,” will they be counted among the “uninsured”?
More politics and policy below the fold.
Your daily serving of "Chris Christie, burnt toast".
Conservatives' real beef: That people want to sign upPaul Krugman, with a Gaba appreciation post:
For each one of these extensions or delays, the ultimate question is whether they change the law’s ability to realize its basic goals—which, in this case, means encouraging people to buy new private health plans while maintaining a stable insurance market. Giving people a little extra time to enroll wouldn’t seem to impede this kind of progress. If anything, it would seem to enhance it. And maybe that's what really bothers some of the law's fiercer critics.
So what would real data-driven reporting look like (beyond what goes on at the sites Noah mentions, and also at the Times)? Well, here’s an example: Charles Gaba’s ACASignups.net. Gaba, a website developer, realized that nobody was systematically keeping track of enrollment data for Obamacare, and has turned himself into one-stop shopping on the law’s progress. And he really fills a need: when you read news reports on Obamacare, you can tell right away which reporters have been reading Gaba and know what’s happening and which reporters are relying solely on official announcements — or, worse, dueling political spin.That Krugman piece above? it's also part of a feud going on between him and Nate Silver, which Nate escalated with this tongue in cheek piece.
Good news from ABC:
Twenty-five pharmaceutical companies are voluntarily phasing out the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in animals processed for meat, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.David Ramsey:
Citing a potential threat to public health, the agency in December asked 26 companies to voluntarily stop labeling drugs important for treating human infection as acceptable for animal growth promotion. The FDA did not name the one company that has not agreed to withdraw or revise its drugs.
Many on the left are trumpeting another finding, suggesting that many people are tired of hashing out the health care law, and that Republicans may be making a strategic mistake with their all-Obamacare-all-the-time strategy in the 2014 elections.WaPo:
Well, maybe. The "Obamacare bad" message still plays pretty well in Arkansas. But hey, perhaps by November being tired of hearing about the health care debate is something that Democrats and Republicans will be able to agree on.
So in Amsterdam on Saturday night, Secret Service supervisor George Hartford had the Miami incident in mind when he issued a warning to a group of agents gathered for dinner: Go out if you want, but stay out of trouble.Hey, thanks for taking your job seriously, guys.
By the next morning, Hartford was pounding on the hotel door of a 34-year-old junior agent who had passed out drunk in a hallway and later had to be lifted into his room by several hotel employees, according to a hotel spokesman and two other people familiar with the incident. The agent claimed to have no memory of the events.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Is Irreplaceable
All you liberals trying to push her out, think about that.