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Obamacare enrollment through the exchanges is 7 million and counting ... and counting. Thanks to grace periods for people who weren't able to finish enrolling by the Monday night deadline, the usual churn of an insurance market, and other factors, the true number of people getting coverage through the law will remain a moving target:
That number doesn’t account for Medicaid, which has no set application period or accompanying deadlines. And a few recalcitrant states may yet take up the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. New Hampshire decided to do so just last week; Michigan’s expansion officially began Tuesday. [...]

The ranks of incompletes make for a long list. Nobody knows how many people will actually follow up and finish enrolling.

“Since this is terra nova, any estimate would be pure guesswork, ” said Paul Van de Water, a health policy expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Then there's another group that will be in the same risk pools as people who bought their insurance through the exchanges, but aren't being counted with them:
... the people who have bought new health insurance since the start of this year but have chosen for one reason or another to bypass the state and federal exchanges that opened last year under the Affordable Care Act. While the exact number is unknown, some health care experts estimate that it may be in the millions.
What's absolutely 100 percent certain, after all the uncertainties and questions about how to count is this: A whole hell of a lot of people who did not have affordable health care have it now. Any discussion about uninsured Americans starts in a completely different place—a better place—than it did when Barack Obama became president, despite all the efforts of Republicans to repeal the law.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 06:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  the only G.O.P. option: their G.O.deathPanels /nt (10+ / 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 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 07:06:15 AM PDT

  •  Additionally, some people will (20+ / 0-)

    sign up who qualify for Special Enrollment periods due to a Qualifying Life Event.  For example, if you have a change in your family status (you get married, divorced, or have a baby), you can sign up.  Also, if you lose your current insurance coverage.  So, more will be signing up.

    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 Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 07:18:26 AM PDT

  •  I noticed it was the GOP 'splainin this morning... (19+ / 0-)

    trying to explain why 7 million wasn't really 7 million because blah blah blah something about people paying premiums and blah blah kicked off rolls...whatever. It was convoluted and they were playing defense. They were 'splainin because they're losing on the facts.

    I say keep putting these numbers out there. Hammer it home. Let the country know that putting the GOP in charge is a vote for stripping health insurance from 7 million...8 million....9 million Americans.

    •  GOP claim is that "newly insured" only 1 million (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Involuntary Exile

      The vast majority of ACA sign-ups are by people who were already insured in some fashion.  Also, the claim is that the mix of young adults is considerably lower than needed.

      The 7 million number, therefore, "isn't meaningful".  These claims are even being pushed by the likes of Lindsey Graham and Tom Coburn - not just right wing media.  They don't name sources.

      WH isn't presenting data on the makeup of ACA signups to counteract any of this.

      This is definitely a change in GOP strategy, but it does at least provide rationale for a delay an widespread increase in ACA support for a while longer.  

      West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

      by Nicolas Fouquet on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:02:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What are the Medicaid numbers so far? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, historys mysteries

    Is there a website that tracks them?

    Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

    by raincrow on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 07:28:19 AM PDT

  •   red states poverty (3+ / 0-)


                     FIRST IN POVERTY OBESITY  

    Recommended by:



                      THE RED STATES  

  •  I really don't (0+ / 0-)

    get how the administration did not set up a registry of some kid. Mandating that the insurances report the number, not names or any other thing, of people that have enrolled and paid in one way or the other can't be that hard.

    In this day an age that our every single breath is recorded that data overflows I'm finding ludicrous that a full fact sheet can't be produced to shut up some stupid attacks to the law. It will be great to have that by august, once we get to the real electioneering I want each candidate to have the numbers for their district

    •  Feds don't have all the data (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr MadAsHell, hamjudo, Cordyc

      At best, they can provide data on signups via their site -, which (unexpectedly, due to stonewalling of the Republicans) had to handle a LOT more states than originally anticipated while the Republicans did everything possible to obstruct it. Even those states that did set up their own exchanges didn't, apparently, pay a lot of attention to detailed reporting to the feds.

      Insurance companies don't really have to report independent sign-ups to the feds, so there's a huge pool of people who went direct and got the benefit that even ordinary insurance policies now have some serious minimum standards they didn't have to meet before (grandfathered policies are the exception for a bit) - but are a little hard to count.

      Finally, Medicaid is run by the states with federal contribution - so again you'd have to get the info from the states that decided to expand Medicaid availability.

      At this point, brainwrap seems to be doing the best aggregation job - and the polling companies are confirming the key numbers.

      Oh, and gratuitous dig at Republicans - people who have actually GOT their bills are paying them.  But it takes a while from application to actually getting the bill from the insurance company.  So a lot of Republicans are complaining that people are not paying before they even get the bill.  Pathetic.

      •  I understand all that (0+ / 0-)

        That doesn't mean that they could have established some data collection system.

      •  All true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in CA Blue Shield was calling people to get the first payment via credit card or checking account.

        Then the next month the bill didn't arrive until after the 1st of the month.  I had to send a written check because I couldn't figure out how to set up auto bank payment.

        The 3rd month the bill was also very late but since I had some numbers I finally figured out the correct one to use after spending 2 hours on hold with Blue Shield.  And then the Customer Service person didn't understand what I was talking about.

        It turns out Blue Shield CA is not using the regular Customer Service folks for Exchange plans.  They have out sourced this work to a company in FL who have set up a separate Service Center in Chico.

        Congressional elections have consequences!

        by Cordyc on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 11:04:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you Laura Clawson for breaking it down (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, bear83, Hohenzollern, IM
    What's absolutely 100 percent certain, after all the uncertainties and questions about how to count is this: A whole hell of a lot of people who did not have affordable health care have it now. Any discussion about uninsured Americans starts in a completely different place—a better place—than it did when Barack Obama became president, despite all the efforts of Republicans to repeal the law.

    "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

    by FiredUpInCA on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 07:42:06 AM PDT

    •  However, Clawson's statement is anecdotal (0+ / 0-)

      It is not very effective against GOP claims that the numbers don't tell the real story (too few young people, too many ACA signups by those who already had insurance).

      We are still light on information that sells that real change is happening.

      West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

      by Nicolas Fouquet on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:07:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see your point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nicolas Fouquet, Cordyc

        but as a January 1, 2014 recipient of healthcare coverage after not having it since 1998, I am not that concerned about Republican claims.

        We have enough information to know that this law is a game changer. Hospitals and health insurers and the stock market will start telling the tale of increased numbers and it will drown out those who want to dismiss the administrations claims.

        The youth/healthy subjects mix is a non-issue thanks to the way the law was written.

        Federal officials have set an informal target of 40% of enrollments in the 18-34 age range. The latest figures from various states put the enrollment rate at the mid-20% level. But it was always expected that younger people would be among the last to enroll, and reports from the states suggest that's happening.

        Even if the statistics remain fixed in the mid-20s, however, the death spiral won't be happening. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that even if the young enrolled at only 50% of expected levels, premiums for 2015 would have to be raised a couple of percentage points. That's nowhere near enough to set off a death spiral.

        Moreover, as we explained way back in October, the ACA has a corrective to the death spiral written in. It's called risk adjustment, and it works by paying a subsidy to insurance companies that end up with older or sicker customer bases than they anticipated. The money comes from payments made by carriers that end up with favorable customer profiles. Republicans know this arrangement will keep Obamacare stable. How do we know? Because in a majestically cynical move spearheaded by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., they tried late last year to kill it, calling it an insurance "bailout."

        "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

        by FiredUpInCA on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:39:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good stuff (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But the GOP is providing a rationale for the uninformed to keep doubting the ACA for now.  They'll either be proven correct, or it will all come crashing down around them.  

          I am fascinated by how the GOP has left no room for ACA success - like Karl Rove on election night in 2012.  Unlike that failure though, this one puts the fundamentals of GOP philosophy at significant risk.

          I do recall the Kaiser study and it was and is reassuring.  The key number will be, as seems to be in Kentucky, the number of uninsured in the U.S. going down at a rate in the range of what is being implied in the sign up numbers.  The GOP counterarguments will become harder to maintain with those numbers.

          I can't wait for them to come out.  Hurry up, WH.

          West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

          by Nicolas Fouquet on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 09:28:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'll be adding my name to that list. (8+ / 0-)

    I'll be writing a diary about this later, but thanks to ObamaCare I've been able to quit my job at a call center run by a Fortune 500 and gotten one that pays better with a great local small business.

    I am no longer an insurance serf!

  •  Thanks for spreading the word (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hamjudo, howabout

    about Medicaid having no set deadlines.  That hasn't received a lot of publicity, but it's important.

    •  This is so important. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chas 981, QuelleC

      I have spent the last week explaining this to relatives and friends here in Michigan.

      I have been getting panicky phone calls from poor people who think they now owe the government a fine.

      I explain to them that not only do they not owe a fine, they qualify for expanded Medicaid (I have a lot of poor people around me) and I will help them apply and they did not have to apply by April first.

      Jeez, I not only know a lot of poor people, I know a lot of poor people who watch Fox News.

  •  You missed a few other major groups Laura (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, Cordyc, howabout, Chas 981

    1) People who become unemployed this year.

    In the past they had to pay for COBRA (very expensive) or go uninsured until they got another job and hopefully got reinsured (often after a waiting period at their new employer). Now they can buy into the exchanges. Estimates are that anywhere from 25-50% of the people who become uneployed this year will buy into the exchanges. Once corporate "job transition" and HR departments become more in tune with the law this number will climb.

    2) The other are people who face a "major event".

    Divorce, birth of child, aging out of parental insurance plans, etc all (I believe?) allow people to buy into the exchanges. Expect health clinics to start to help enroll people soon (hell they want to get paid). Expect nurses at family health clinics to recommend that pregant woman get insured (for themselves and their babies sake).

    I'm expecting (based on articles I have read) that by the end of the year this will swell the final number by another 500,000 to 1.5 million.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:12:49 AM PDT

    •  And we should include (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA, dopper0189

      all those with employer plans who now get no cost preventative care along with the end of yearly or lifetime caps.

      Seniors with Medicare also now get no cost Preventative care and a closure of the Donut hole on meds

      Congressional elections have consequences!

      by Cordyc on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 11:10:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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

      I believe lots of hospitals and clinics have someone on staff who knows how to help patients apply because they want the money!

    •  I'm a little confused (0+ / 0-)

      My 24 yr old is graduating college and is hoping to get a ft job this summer.  I've been unemployed and I'm hoping to get a job asap.  My understanding is that if we are offered employer based health ins we have to take it if it is less than 9.5% of income?  We're in a group together because he's still my dependent.  We're waiting for our ID cards in the mail any day now but while jobs would be a great, great thing, I'm wondering about the requirements.  So when one of us gets a ft job the other would have to apply for individual insurance through the exchange??  I see on the exchange where you can report any changes, and I realise our subsidy would no doubt be reduced.  I think I saw you get 60 days to switch to employer based ins?  We have a silver plan I think we'll be very happy with so the thought of having to switch a couple of months in is awful. I also worry very much about people who signed up for the bronze plans, maybe not realising $13,600 deductible (an example from my choice of plans) will have to be paid before they get coverage, other than for preventive care. I see that as something republicans will scream about, as in Obamacare is "junk" insurance, etc.

  •  The Republicans are really out on the (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr MadAsHell, HugoDog, IM, Cordyc, Chas 981

    Propaganda branch. Wouldn't we be hearing more moaning and groaning from the insurance companies if folks were reneging on payments, threatening ins companies bottom line. I don't see any statements like "preliminary estimates look like we'll have to raise premiums by 1/3." I don't read about any battles between ins companies and state insurance commissioners about outrageous rate hikes.

    Time not on Republican side.

    Enlighten me if you've heard anything different.

    •  Insurance stock have been rising (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ever since the ACA passed in 2010.

      And recently Wellpoint (owns many Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans) has upped it profit guidance because of the surge in Obamacare sign ups.

      We should be throwing this in GOP faces.

      Congressional elections have consequences!

      by Cordyc on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 11:12:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yesterday's Borowitz Report was truly grand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IM, Chas 981

    "Labor was the first price, the original purchase - money that was paid for all things" -- Adam Smith

    by HugoDog on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:31:21 AM PDT

  •  off exchange numbers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cordyc, Chas 981

    I have always been surprised that the existence of off-exchange was not touted more - even w/o having the numbers. For anyone not receiving a discounted plan, there was no particular reason to use the exchanges that I could see.

    I know ehealth was getting a chunk of the off-exchange. As they are a public company, they would be one to keep an eye on to get an idea of enrollments - thought it would still be only a fraction of the totals.

    •  ehealth is doing a stock repurchase (0+ / 0-)

      that means they are making lots of money in the parlance of Wall Street

      We know that the ACA was a GOP plan originally so it makes sense that the private "contractors" who actually deliver the new services are making the big bucks

      Congressional elections have consequences!

      by Cordyc on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 11:16:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I finally got my friend signed up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hamjudo, Cordyc

    JUST under the wire--he's a stubborn guy--and hasn't had health insurance, well, forever.

    Now 62 years old, he'll have it now, for $120 a month, with a $310 subsidy. Wow.

  •  They simply can't believe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That Koch Brothers' money, lies, msm, Republican Governors denying exchanges and refusing Medicaid Expansion, generation of hatred for President Obama,  labeling the ACA ObamaCare, and a rocky web-site roll out would not be a winning ticket to stop ACA enrollment.  

    This victory is more than ACA enrollment , it is a clear indication that the tactics that Republicans rely upon are being crushed by the will of hard working determined people who will rise up when their interest is at stake.

    Run on ObamaCare, min.wage, pay equality , unemployment, infrastructure to create jobs and the rest of the Dem agenda and keep the Koch Brothers as the emblem of the 1% ,we win 2014.

    Hats off to all those hard working volunteers and Brainwrap  who kept this ACA Sign up real and exciting and accurate.

  •  Sen Boxer on Joy Reid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    looking and listening

    just explained that way over 100+ Million Americans are benefiting from various provisions of ACA.

    Why isn't this getting more coverage?

    Everyone with Employer plans now get No Cost Preventative Care!  That is huge!

    Congressional elections have consequences!

    by Cordyc on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 11:21:41 AM PDT

  •  Amazing (0+ / 0-)

    7 + million folks that have never had health care now are covered.  By years end we will see this number at 21+ million.  How can anyone in their right mind think this is a bad thing.  These are folks paying for a service, with their own money.  7 million people that would have skipped the doctors office without insurance.  So now rich doctors can see more patients and earn more money to buy their silly foreign cars.  But at least Americans will be healthy as the doctors pollute the air with their BMW and Mercedes.  

  •  I helped skew the numbers (0+ / 0-)

    I have to admit I'm one of those the Rethugs will point to in their continued anti-ACA rants.  I currently have employer-provided health insurance.  I'm a dept. level manager at a medium-sized grocery chain in the Gulf South.  I filled out the paperwork to see what they had to offer.  I came to find out that the plan I am enrolled in would be considered a platinum plan in the marketplace, and that, without subsidy, I'd pay $541 a month for the closest plan to the one for which I will pay $34/wk after 01 April.

    I'm no deadbeat looking for health care without having to pay for it, but an interested consumer researching his options.  


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