Our estimable brainwrap has to take care of paying clients, and has pulled back from writing daily ACA Diaries here. I asked if one of us here could continue them, and he asked me to do it, as I wrote late last night. You can, of course check out the daily numbers and read brainwrap's posts on the ACA Signups Web site, but then you wouldn't get the comments that Kossacks always add here.
I welcome any assistance any of you may be able to offer.
To begin with, we have to catch up on several days' news and look ahead to the end of Open Enrollment. The big number there is 6.5 million, brainwrap's projected total for March 31.
Except that the Open Enrollment period has been extended for two weeks almost everywhere for those who start an application for insurance by March 31, but can't get it completed by then. (I'll do a whole Diary on that soon.) Cue Teapublican freakout.
So there will be an even bigger number to follow when Open Enrollment wraps up on April 15. Except that those numbers won't be reported until some time later.
Except that there will continue to be even bigger numbers all year racked up by those who have qualifying events such as births, deaths, loss of a job that included coverage…that allow them to sign up whenever that happens. And except that we will hear from time to time from insurance companies how many people they signed up off the exchanges, people who don't qualify for subsidies. And also except that states will continue to accept Medicaid expansion one at a time. Did we mention that this is complicated?
And now, the news, only a few days late.
What's with the extension?
State Enrollment Extension Status
by Charles Gaba on Thu, 03/27/2014 - 9:11pm
Here's the full roundup of the "extended enrollment period" status of all 50 states + DC (I still don't know the status of Hawaii or Rhode Island):Read more
ALABAMA, ALASKA, ARIZONA, ARKANSAS, DELAWARE, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, IDAHO, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, KANSAS, LOUISIANA, MAINE, MICHIGAN, MISSISSIPPI, MISSOURI, MONTANA, NEBRASKA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW MEXICO, NORTH CAROLINA, NORTH DAKOTA, OHIO, OKLAHOMA, PENNSYLVANIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, SOUTH DAKOTA, TENNESSEE, TEXAS, UTAH, VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN, WYOMING: Extended until 4/15 if started by 3/31
The Obama administration has decided to give extra time to Americans who say that they are unable to enroll in health plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline.
Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.
And what's the freakout about?
Well you may ask. I am going to have to revert to my Zen training here. Rev. Jiyu Kennett, Abbess of Shasta Abbey, passed down the teaching that in trying to find the root of a person's suffering in order to be able to offer assistance, it is necessary to consider
- What the person says is the problem
- What the person thinks is the problem
- What the problem in the back of their mind really is
There is also, as Lewis Carroll pointed out, the name of the problem (the ACA), what the problem is called (Obamacare), and what the name of the problem is called (Socialist Tyranny!!!).
Teapublicans say that it is illegal for the President or HHS to extend the deadline. Thus this is tyranny, the imperial Presidency, total lawlessness, impeach Obama! We have to have hard deadlines, or else people will just wait to get sick before they enroll. Also, some of them say that allowing extra time for enrollment takes away choice from the women of America. [sic] No, I don't know what that is supposed to mean either. Chris Hayes had a Jennifer Stefano from the Koch-fueled Americans For Prosperity on All In. She made that incoherent claim amid a farrago of lies and confusions, such as claiming that 133% of the poverty level is $94,000. Hayes was unable to get anything factual or even comprehensible out of her.
The Tea Parties are all about Health Care being tyranny, death panels, getting between you and your doctor, Socialism, a government takeover, the death of the Republic, FEMA concentration camps, and a good deal more in that vein. Also a train wreck, and Obama's Waterloo. Members seem to believe most of it.
The real problem in the back of some of their minds is the one that Bill Kristol explained in 1993, and I Diaried about in 2009. Health Care spells political doom for Republicans. But only if it is actually implemented, and Democrats campaign on it, and Republicans cannot recruit more voters to oppose it (which Teapublicans will not allow them to do). Hence anything and everything they can think of to get in the way must be done and redone and doubled down on, especially if it isn't working. And they have to pretend at all times that they are winning on the issue. Classic When Prophecy Fails Cognitive Dissonance.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus pounced on the extension, calling it another delay for a "failed health care law."You see how that works?
“Another day, another ObamaCare delay from the same Obama administration that won’t work with Republicans to help Americans suffering from the unintended consequences of the Democrats’ failed health care law," Priebus said in a statement. "Democrats in leadership may say they are doubling down on ObamaCare but you have to wonder how many more unilateral delays their candidates running in 2014 can withstand.”
More actual news on the extension can be found below, and I will try to unpack it in another Diary.
What did we miss in the last four days?
We don't have room for the details of these stories today, but you may feel free to quote more from these items in a comment for us to discuss. I restrained myself from quoting everything marvelous and wonderful, but there were just a few that were too good to pass up.
Well, first of all, I've gone ahead and increased my official 3/31 projection to 6.5 million exchange QHPs.BOOM, there it is: President Obama announces 6M exchange QHPs.
I know this also may sound kind of jerky, but Professor Krugman's NY Times article is also likely to be the last link that I add to the "Media" page. I don't think I can ask for any higher praise than the column he wrote today.This.
So what would real data-driven reporting look like…? Well, here’s an example: Charles Gaba’s ACASignups.net.I'll have to unpack the new house rules ASAP.
For the record, Gaba’s take on the program so far is fairly optimistic: he projects 6.3 million signups by March 31, and has very carefully debunked claims that the vast majority of those signing up were previously insured. But the main point is that he’s filling a niche by using a lot more data than the mainstream media. That’s what we thought Nate Silver would be doing, and maybe he eventually will. But for now, Gaba is the model.