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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):


    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, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.

Read more

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.

Fox News reports Obama administration extends health care enrollment deadline for some

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus pounced on the extension, calling it another delay for a "failed health care law."

“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.”

You see how that works?

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.

March 28

The Perfect Companion Piece to my Response to Avik Roy

Arkansas: QHPs up to 33.5K, Medicaid over 106K

March 27

Connecticut: Total QHPs down due to unpaid purge, Medicaid up 5,550

Vermont: QHPs near 32K, Medicaid breaks 23K

State Enrollment Extension Status

Beyond 3/31 (Will HHS shorten March to 29 days?)

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.

Straying from the Path: IF 6M Exchange QHPs are announced today, then... (UPDATED)

Sticking My Neck Out: 6M Exchange QHPs Announced Today

Regarding that eyebrow-raising "6M last week" rumor from yesterday...

Nevada: QHPs break 35K, still 45% above February's daily average

Massachusetts makes the "as long as you started by 3/31" policy official (shocker!)

DC: Total up to 22.3K, March QHP avg. moves from 40% below Feb to 26% above

Louisiana: No hard data, but The Surge Is Happening, even in deep red states

Georgia: QHPs near 178K, 2x February rate, 81.4% paid

CORRECTION; disregard earlier Illinois Update!

March 26

California: 39K QHPs in 2 days, 4x Feb rate, 2x early March rate; Total Exchange QHP projection increased to 6.4M

Oregon: QHPs break 50K, Medicaid nears 123K, Rate drops to "only" 2.6x Feb due to correction

Illinois: 323K Total Enrollments; est. 139K QHPs, 184K Medicaid

Wyoming: No hard numbers but STRONG surge evidence..AND of high "previously uninsureds"

Minnesota: 5,100 paper app shoots March QHP avg. up to 3.1x Feb. rate

New House Rules

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.
So what would real data-driven reporting look like…? Well, here’s an example: Charles Gaba’s

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.

I'll have to unpack the new house rules ASAP.

California, Colorado, New York all say "screw it" and announce exchange QHP extensions

HHS Makes extension official; whither

Off-Exchange Enrollments: This is what I'm talking about.

Massachusetts: Exchange QHPs jump from 15K to 25K; total exchange QHPs now projected at 6.3M

March 25

A Response to Avik Roy

Kentucky: QHPs hit 66K, Medicaid 266.4K

Massachusetts: Exchange QHPs jump from 15K to 25K; total exchange QHPs now projected at 6.3M

Site Updates & Miscellaneous: Graph, Projection, Attack Points, QHP Extension

Washington State: Dramatic turnaround from last week; QHPs up 13K in 10 days, March avg. now 25% higher than Feb

Hawaii: QHPs up a breathtaking...350 people.

I leave this place for 2 hours and the world goes nuts...

Connecticut: 174K Total, 68.5K QHPs & 105.5K Medicaid (UPDATED)

New York, Kentucky: FINALLY, clarity on the "Previously Uninsured" numbers!

Massachusetts: ACA-enabled Medicaid 300K, 1K SHOP

One More Post re. the "OMG!! 5M CANCELLED!!" talking point

Minnesota: QHPs break 36K, Medicaid breaks 100K, still 48% above Feb. rate

eHealth Insurance gives tons of reasons why OFF-exchange enrollments are so important

Connecticut: QHPs hit 65K, pace slowing down?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Democrats need to wake up (9+ / 0-)

    and realize that getting more people signed up for the ACA is a politically sound investment. Many of the states with the largest remaining populations of uninsured (Texas, Florida, Michigan, for example) are also 2014 battlegrounds. Get people insured, and at the same time highlight GOP candidates' opposition to the ACA.

    "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

    by pierre9045 on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 02:51:27 PM PDT

  •  It is a tragedy that so many of our people (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, VPofKarma, IM, worldlotus

    do not want, can't afford and are fearful of health care that is affordable and decent.  6 and one-half million sign-ups are a great dent in the 50 million unisured or porrly insured that still need coverage:  42.5 million are still out in the cold.  Until we have coverage for all we grieviously injure our own people.  The consequences are all bad, unless you call facing life with no heath care a wonderful human experience.  I call it dreadful and  life shattering.  Does it hurt the economy?  Do Black Holes suck up matter?  Yes, the economy is hurt and may sustain long term negative consequences, but the toll on us humans, ourselves and our brothers and sisters that is a devastation.  And you Koch bros, we wait to see your humanity concerning health care for all.  Until then it is up to us to carry the flag forward for affordable health care that is decent for all.  

    •  More precisely it is the founding tragedy (4+ / 0-)

      for our nation that so many fear others getting anything, because they believe that helping the poor, minorities, women, whoever, undermines their own position in society. This has many causes, but the biggest is the disastrous effect of slavery on the descendants of slaveowners. See Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class, for a detailed account of this state of mind.

      Fortunately, times have changed, and the children of the Angry White Guys can no longer be raised in that bubble. They are falling away by the millions, and the states they inhabit will fall away one at a time over the next decade and more, until Republicans are irrelevant in Congress.

      But only if we get those young people and the various oppressed segments of society to the polls in numbers that can overcome and then dismantle the gerrymanders.

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

      by Mokurai on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:15:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have been... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, 2thanks, Skyye, IM

    ... trying all week to sign up in California.

    Got a quote from Kaiser, the carrier for the job I quit early in the year; called them last week, but phones were overloaded. So went to the website and took me days to realize that the quote for the subsidy means I have to enroll with the exchange and then choose kaiser.

    So took me until today to be able to get the website to work... kept getting timed out getting my contact info in, one of the first steps to start an online account to then apply for verification, then you can enroll.

    Finally was able to get an account and then they want proof of residence and current income, digitally.

    Don't have a scanner. So now have to figure out how to get my calif id and last year's tax records uploaded. The phones still are down and overloaded. Have been for days.

    Not a happy camper here.

    Looks like I won't qualify for the grace period, because I'm nowhere near the enrollment process.

    Has to be a lot of people who have just given up and hope they don't get so sick the emergency room visit is too expensive.

    Listen to The After Show & The Justice Department on Netroots Radio. Join us on The Porch Tue & Fri at Black Kos, all are welcome!

    by justiceputnam on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:03:17 PM PDT

    •  Call in! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skyye, justiceputnam, katesmom

      The hold times may be long, but if the California phone folks are like the federal ones, they can get you enrolled.

    •  I suggest that you talk to a Navigator (5+ / 0-)

      who is trained in the rules and procedures, and should be up on the latest obstacles and workarounds. You are not in this alone.

      On your specific concern, the criterion is that you started an application, not that you almost finished. brainwrap's posting on the extension links to Covered California Outlines Application Deadlines for Open Enrollment, Braces for Influx of Enrollees

      Individuals who start an online application by 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2014, will have until 11:59 p.m. on April 15, 2014, to complete their application and select a plan. To start an application, the consumer must take at least the following steps:
      •    Create an online account.
      •    Fill out all required information on the “Apply for Benefits” page and click “Continue.” The page contains two required fields (see application screen images online at
      •    After clicking on “Continue,” individuals will be taken to the “Consent for Verification” page, where they need to click on “Save & Exit” or "Continue."
      •    They must return to their online account no later than April 15 to complete the application and select a plan.

      Did you get at least that far?

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

      by Mokurai on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:23:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am at the part... (0+ / 0-)

        ... that wants docs uploaded digitally.

        Which I am not able to do. Have finally connected to the state exchange phone line and am on a one hour wait.

        So at least I can speak with someone and see if I qualify for the grace period.

        Listen to The After Show & The Justice Department on Netroots Radio. Join us on The Porch Tue & Fri at Black Kos, all are welcome!

        by justiceputnam on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:32:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I expect that you can find someone locally (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          justiceputnam, CoyoteMarti, VPofKarma

          to help you upload your documents. When I was in Silicon Valley my old computer club would have been delighted to assist, and there is a wide range of community organizations that you might talk to. Doctors and hospitals like the idea of having more covered patients, so one of them might help, particularly if you wanted to sign up with them for services. Or a pharmacy. Walgreen and CVS are competing for new ACA-covered customers.

          I do not know whether a Navigator can do it for you. You should definitely ask.

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

          by Mokurai on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:37:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am on hold... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            davewill, VPofKarma

            ... so I can ask if a pic on my phone of the docs will work.

            Have been looking at free "phone scanning apps" just now too.

            But I'll be able to speak to someone soon. Looks like California is granting a much more flexible and far ranging grace period even from what the Feds are proposing, according to the info on the phone hold between elevator tunes.

            I believe I can also snail mail in copies. But will clear that with the live person so am sure it is within the grace period offered.

            Thanks for the help!

            Listen to The After Show & The Justice Department on Netroots Radio. Join us on The Porch Tue & Fri at Black Kos, all are welcome!

            by justiceputnam on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:41:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Should work great, especially on small things. (0+ / 0-)

              I often use the camera on my phone in place of a scanner, even for full size documents. The only rub is that since the files are full color, they are bigger than the usual grey or black and white scan.

              "Nothing happens unless first a dream. " ~ Carl Sandburg

              by davewill on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 04:51:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  For the federal website, apparently all you have (0+ / 0-)

      to do is self certify that you started the process before 3/31 and were not able to complete it.  Is CA using the same process?  If you have been trying, then you have started the process.

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

      by ahumbleopinion on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 04:50:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for taking up the torch Mokurai. You've (9+ / 0-)

    done a most excellent job, and wow, what a load of work.

    I was really pleasantly surprised when I just heard a few days ago that wet it 6 million even after all of the challenges with the website.

    P.S. Where did you get that wicked cool dayglo green computer?

    "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

    by HoundDog on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:16:01 PM PDT

    •  It's a pleasure (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CoyoteMarti, Brainwrap, VPofKarma, IM

      The latest projection from brainwrap is 6.5 million by March 31. There is talk of reaching 7 million by election day, with people having qualifying events allowed to sign up or change policies outside the Open Enrollment period. That includes marriage, divorce, births, deaths, losing a job with health care coverage, and some others.

      Then we can expect more than 7 million next year, and comparable numbers going forward. To reach the total of 49 million previously uninsured might thus be expected to take seven years.

      However, those numbers do not include off-exchange enrollments, which appear to be running in the millions, nor those who are being denied expanded Medicaid coverage. Among other things. This system has a lot of moving parts. We still need single payer.

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

      by Mokurai on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:32:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also need to remember that the 49 million number (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is anyone who has been uninsured anytime in the past 12 months (if that's the time period they still use for the official gov't number). A portion of the actual members of this giant pool are always in flux, in and out of the job market, moving onto Medicare, in or out of Medicaid, marrying someone with family coverage, etc. So there will probably never be close to 49 mil at any one time in ACA or Medicaid products. The key number to watch therefore will be the still uninsured at any point, not those having coverage at any one point. We dealt with this issue when I was at BCBS of VA individual business group, and we had to constantly make that point because it's confusing.

        Do not grasp. Let go of what is to make space for what is to be.

        by CoyoteMarti on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:02:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, that was the number of uninsured (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CoyoteMarti, IM

          found by the Census Bureau at one time in 2009, in the depths of the recession. I should have made that clear. That is the number cited at Health insurance coverage in the United States. There are others.

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

          by Mokurai on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:13:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Finally chased down the actual Census source (0+ / 0-)

            document, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009 ( The relevant section is Appendix C, Exhibit C-1 which states the source of the data is still the Current Population Survey's ASEC (Annual Social and Economic Supplements). The appendix body copy states "...the ASEC collects information in February through April but asks about the previous year's coverage." [emphasis mine] They do believe that "compared with other national surveys, the CPS estimate more closely approximates the number of people who are uninsured at a specific point in time" but the question still asks about insurance status in the previous 12 months. They are always refining and improving questions and methods; will be interesting to see how they accommodate the ACA. It was wicked hard and $$$$ to get a handle on Virginia's uninsured profile privately, as the state-level Census data samples were too small and looked really weird and out of whack with what public State of VA data existed and what we ultimately found.

            Do not grasp. Let go of what is to make space for what is to be.

            by CoyoteMarti on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:18:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The wicked cool computer (6+ / 0-)

      is a One Laptop Per Child XO laptop designed for the poorest children of the world, specifically for the purpose of getting them educated and qualified for jobs, and thus out of poverty. The original goal was to provide them to a billion children at a time (all of them), but economics, politics, and implacable opposition from certain semi-monopoly commercial interests has held it down to only a few million so far, with the biggest deployments in Peru, Uruguay, and Rwanda. I helped out with recruiting volunteers for the Haiti and Cambodia projects, and with manuals and textbooks.

      For example, the green and white colors are from the Nigerian national flag, because a President of Nigeria was the first to commit to providing XOs to all of the children of his country. Then he lost the next election, and nothing came of it. In Thailand, the plan was derailed by a coup. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, we cannot talk to the government seriously about funding, and it would endanger a child's life (especially a girl) to be seen with one in some parts of the country. However, the UN has funded putting them in refugee camp schools in Gaza and Lebanon.

      Nicholas Negroponte with refugee child at school in Gaza, as part of UNRWA education program providing One Laptop Per Child XOs to students.
      Nicholas Negroponte and Palestinian child with new OLPC XO in Gaza

      I run a program for Sugar Labs, OLPC's software and content partner, called Replacing Textbooks which aims to provide digital Open Educational Resources (OERs) to all of those children under Creative Commons licenses, so that the OERs can be freely adapted to local requirements and translated to local languages.

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

      by Mokurai on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 04:56:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here is an Al Jazeera link (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VPofKarma, CoyoteMarti

    Meet 2 'young invincibles' still undecided about Obamacare

    Charles Gaba, who’s made some stunningly accurate predictions on his Obamacare tracking blog, projects the finally signup tally will be 6.22 million.
    They don't have a link for their interview with brainwrap yet.

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

    by Mokurai on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:47:18 PM PDT

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