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Get Covered America buttons are seen during a training session in Chicago, Illinois September 7, 2013 before volunteers canvas a Chicago neighborhood to talk with residents about the Affordable Care Act - also known as Obamacare. Picture taken September 7

It's a concrete reminder of just how bad the economy continues to be for far too many and how great need is, but it's also a signal of Obamacare's success: Washington state's Medicaid enrollments under expanded Medicaid have blown past projections.
By early last week, enrollments for adults newly eligible for Medicaid as a result of the Affordable Care Act had shot past 268,000 — a milepost equal to more than a quarter of the state’s 900,000 uninsured.

As of April 1, the Medicaid enrollments include 10,047 newly eligible adults getting free care on federally subsidized Medicaid in Thurston County and another 29,356 in Pierce County. […]

Another 135,485 residents had signed up for Medicaid through the exchange under old eligibility rules that had stricter income limits. Altogether, more than 400,000 Washington residents are now getting coverage under Medicaid who likely did not receive it before the Washington Health Benefit Exchange opened its online portal for sign-ups Oct. 1.

That number is going to go up, because Medicaid enrollment is open year-round. State officials didn't expect to see a quarter of a million new adult Medicaid enrollees until 2018. They also say they underestimated the "pent-up demand" for health care in their state. Washington has been one of the states that's worked particularly hard to make Obamacare work, so the Medicaid expansion experience there is probably not going to be prescriptive for all the states. But we can still expect to see similar Medicaid response in the states that have taken the expansion.

That pent-up demand, however, exists in all of the states: there's nowhere in this country where tight budgets haven't forced people to decide between the basic necessities of life or the luxury of health insurance. That should make Medicaid expansion a salient issue for 2014.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 02:53 PM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 02:53:59 PM PDT

  •  My two adult children (8+ / 0-)

    My SIL and 2 grandsons are now covered.  It's my son's (34 yo) first coverage since he was 21.

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 03:17:28 PM PDT

    •  Need to be more clear (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Assaf, ferg, myboo, Elizaveta

      Except for my daughter (middle of a problem pregnancy)  They all got coverage as a result of the Medicaid expansion!!!!

      “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

      by markdd on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 03:19:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  At least in WA state people know how to write code (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elizaveta, Creosote

    And other people were smart enough to hire/contract those people to do the job. After some hiccups on Oct. 1, it's been smooth sailing on the WA state exchange ever since.

    Plus, GOP obstructionists have been too weak to interfere with Obamacare over here (they are interfering with other state-level stuff, unfortunately, such as funding for schools and transit - but that's another story).

    •  Not entirely true, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      we've had our accounts sent to the techs a few times to get past glitches--both when I signed up for coverage and my when my daughter turned 19 and had to apply for Apple Health for Adults. Her account is still hiccuping, but the site was down on Tuesday when she called again. And we're not alone.

      Having said that, the turn-around on problem solving has been pretty good and the folks on the phone have been sincerely helpful and good-natured about everything. And Washington's health coverage in general is pretty generous.

      Not complaining, but we have our share of smoothing the road to to do. We are fortunate that the force of the republicans isn't felt here as strongly as in other states.

  •  This says it all: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elizaveta, Creosote
    "They also say the underestimated the "pent-up demand" for health care in their state."
    I have felt all along that the politicians, especially on the GOP side of the aisle, just never believed that there were really millions of people out there who could not afford health care and so weren't getting any. They didn't know anyone like that (or didn't think they did -- I'd bet some of their nannies and lawn-mowers and house-cleaners were in that category), so they didn't believe it really existed.

    And they probably still don't believe that the number of newly insured is still only a small fraction of the uninsured out there -- that we still have many millions to go before everyone has access.

  •  Buried lede: Medicaid enrollment open year-round (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Iberian, True North

    In the lead-up to this year's November elections, it is hard to think of a better way, than continuing increases in Medicaid enrollments, to keep turning the ACA into more and more of an electoral benefit for Democrats.

  •  thanks, this is my job, and I needed a boost (0+ / 0-)
  •  "Medicaid for all" 49 degrees North to 60 North (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    No means test. No co-pay. No deductible. No lifetime limits. No pre-existing conditions. Monthly premium $69.25 for one person family (waived for low income).

  •  Quality of care (0+ / 0-)

    My reading of the Washington Apple care is that you are assigned to an HMO and that is where you get all your coverage. Am I correct?  Anybody with any experience in using the system?

  •  If there's one thing the people who stated (0+ / 0-)

    "Pass it and fix it" intentions could  do to show they meant it, it would be trying to restore the House versions 170% of FPL eligibility for Medicaid.

    Right now, we're making seriously broke people buy insurance they can't afford to use when they get sick. When you make 150% of FPL, a 20 dollar co-pay for the visit and a 13 dollar co-payment for the medicine can mean not eating for a few days or entering into the cascading hell of unpayable late fees on utilities.

    Coverage on this crucial issue was piss-poor during the fights over the bills passage, and has not improved since.  There's a fundamental disconnect in the minds of most of the middle-class that causes a conflation of insurance coverage with "affordable access", as the burden of purportedly "modest" fees at time of service  is extremely relative.

    I have spent years trying to get this through to people who have never had the experience of knowing the rent check will bounce if they go to the doctor for horrible pain in their ear.  I have utterly failed.  

    I don't know if that because I'm dealing with people dedicated to not understanding, or if it's due to my inability to explain, but I suspect the former as many of them have seen Sicko and still managed not to get it.

    For some, it's what they blow on lunch daily.  For others, it's half of a months bus pass or the whole food budget for five days.  

    This Lemon Socialism approach has been baked in since we got stuck with employer provided insurance.  Managers made much more use of health plans, but everyone had to pay the same share of the premium and the overall cost to the company was depressed by using co-pays and heavy pressure to avoid sick days in order to keep lower-rung workers from actually using what they paid for.

    This still hasn't much been addressed, but expanding Medicaid hits it head on while also not giving ever more cash to an industry that kills for a profit.

    Not only is the current situation forcing us to essentially give insurance companies tax dollars to cover 90% of an inflated profitable premium, it's resulting in third class access at best for the people who were most in need of assistance when this bill became law.

    It's also increasing the deficit, for those who beat that drum.  Paying premium subsidies for the working poor costs far more than simply covering them under Medicaid.

    Even if the Feds picked up the whole tab, leaving the States no excuses.

    Is it "Gordon Gecko Democrat" week here at Dailykos?

    by JesseCW on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 04:02:15 AM PDT

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