Skip to main content

President Barack Obama smiling and holding
A few weeks ago, 7 million sign-ups for Obamacare's insurance exchanges was rightly celebrated as a victory. Now, though, we've blown past that: President Barack Obama announced Thursday afternoon that 8 million people have gotten health coverage through the exchanges, in addition to the millions more who have benefited from expanded Medicaid or been able to stay on their parents' insurance. In all, according to a White House fact sheet:
  • 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in their first year of health reform.
  • 3 million young adults gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act by being able to stay on their parents plan.
  • 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February, compared to before the Marketplaces opened. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year-round.
  • 5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards outside the Marketplace, according to a CBO estimate. When insurers set premiums for next year, they are required to look at everyone who enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards, both on and off the Marketplace.
  • 5.7 million people will be uninsured in 2016 because 24 States have not expanded Medicaid.
As that last number reminds us, the fight isn't over. Millions more could and should be covered by the law, if Republican governors and state legislators weren't blocking Medicaid expansion. It is, as Obama forcefully pointed out during the press conference, being blocked "for no other reason than political spite," and "that's wrong. It should stop. Those folks should be able to get health insurance like everybody else."

While Republicans continue to fight to kick millions and millions of people off their health insurance, Democrats have to be fighting to expand Medicaid and insure 5.7 million more.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 01:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  What a great way (13+ / 0-)

    to kick off a long weekend. The turnaround here has been remarkable.

    •  I hope the Prez is right. While the number are (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LI Mike, dalef77

      great, it still may be a little premature to claim full success. Here's why...

      Yes, there are more benefits provided to insureds, but because plans limit the number of doctors and medical facilities an insured can access, over time this may make for unhappy insureds.

      For years I had employer based coverage and the list of providers in my metropolitan area was vast - pages and pages of them.

      From the CBO: Generally speaking, the plans offered on the exchanges pay health care providers less and have tighter management of patients’ treatment options, and that means lower premiums and taxpayer subsidies
      This may cause doctors to spend less time with patients and some hospitals especially in small communities may have to close their doors.

      Claiming that medical costs are down could be in part because we're coming out of a recession were people had less to spend. Hopefully this trend will continue.

      At this point, we just have to see whether most insureds are happy with their coverage once they actually use it.

      At this point I don't think our final victory is clear.

      Let's see how it all plays out over the next 6 months to a year.

      It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 05:13:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or the opposite (4+ / 0-)

        could just as easily result: Patients demand bigger networks (at the risk of bolting to other insurers), and the insurers start to give way.

        •  But other insurers may not be offering more (0+ / 0-)

          especially in non-metro areas were only  few insurers have chosen to enter the market.

          It's just not an even playing field. Some states, districts, etc. offer more than others.

          If the first year is successful, then more doctors and hospitals may want to join the networks. Depends on a several factors. Do the doctors/hospitals feel they're being paid enough for the patient load. If they don't, they may back out of the program or limit the number of patients who have ACA plans. Just like they do with Medicare/Medicaid patients.

          Having this type of coverage does not necessarily guarantee treatment.

          I live in a metro burb and could not find a good internist in the immediate area who will take Medicare patients. We have a lot of medical buildings and a few hospitals so it's not like we have a shortage of docs.

          It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

          by auapplemac on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 08:31:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  But you don't need pages and pages of doctors (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OhioNatureMom, TofG, Tangerinegirl20

        You are only going to see one doc at a time.

        People demonstrate over and over again that they prefer lower premiums to pages and pages of doctors in a network. Some plans have inadequately small networks, and that needs to be fixed, but many people are happy with cheap plans and smaller networks. After all, Kaiser has a quarter of insureds in California, and they have a strict network.

        •  You do want to stay with the doctor you know, tho (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          auapplemac

          If someone has managed to become familiar and comfortable with a particular doctor, you tend to want to stay with them. So you want your insurer to have that doctor in their network.

          I don't think it's fair to ask someone to give up their family doctor just because their insurer says they have to go to someone 50 miles away just because your preferred doc is out of network.

          As for docs who don't take Medicare/Medicaid, a year ago I was chasing around west Georgia trying to find a rheumatologist who (a) took Medicare, (b) wasn't a million miles away, and (c) wasn't a jerk. Finally found one, but it was tough.

          It would be better for everyone is all physicians took Medicare/Medicaid, and if they all were on every insurer's "network". Kind of like the way it used to be before health care became more about the bottom line than about healing people...

    •  Terrific moment at our Maundy Thursday potluck (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tangerinegirl20, SherrieLudwig

      tonight during the "presente" readings of those who have "brought liberation and new life." The final section invoked all the advances for justice in the past year, from the freeing of the three girls held hostage on the west side for a decade to the grace and dignity of Trayvon Martin's parents in face of an unjust verdict to the election of a new and more open-minded pope.

      It opened with "The ACA overcomes a bumpy rollout and 7 million discover a love for Obamacare."

      And half the room shouted "8 million!"

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 07:42:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We'll see what the next state elections bring (3+ / 0-)

      I'm fairly certain that Corbett is gone. We'll see who else ends up fired over their tea crap that had badly damaged the state economy.
      That will also be reflected in Congressional elections as well, as many are getting tired of being told "Too bad, I'm doing this anyway" when they write to their tea holder.

  •  Good post, Laura. (5+ / 0-)

    Great news.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 01:47:44 PM PDT

  •  This thing is working (4+ / 0-)

    Unless you fall into the gap, (or chasm if you happen to live in a state that didn't expand Medicaid). I'm still not celebrating. Not until everybody is covered and the insurance companies are no longer in charge of our access to healthcare. Call me names if you must but I'm not the one who has changed her position from when this first started being talked about during Obama's early Presidency. Just saying.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 01:52:30 PM PDT

    •  so u'r the perfect who is the enemy of the good (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tangerinegirl20, Vermont Girl

      I understand your point, but absolutism in our system is a recipe for total failure.

      It is because there is no way to plan a course to victory using your standards as the goal.

      Instead opportunities are turned down, because they are not the total victory that it has to be in order for you to recognize it as an advance.

      Ideology should inspire, but when it becomes the decider on which tactics to use and what to call a win or a loss it becomes idiotology so blinded by its self-righteousness it'd rather accept losing every battle by going for it all and staying true to its principals, than accept a a small victory wrought through compromise in a strategy that uses small victories as steps to the final one.

    •  Most will agree with you.... (0+ / 0-)

      "Not until everybody is covered and the insurance companies are no longer in charge of our access to healthcare."

      And that should what fuels our fire to continue the work.

      With 300M+ people in this country it will take far more than the first rollout of the ACA to cover every person in every scenario.

  •  8 + 3 + 3 + 5 = 19 million (11+ / 0-)

    That seems like a BFD to me.

    Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

    by bear83 on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 01:58:38 PM PDT

  •  Let's now hear the "unskewers" on FoxNews (4+ / 0-)

    scream

  •  Breaking News ,Limbaugh headed to surgery (3+ / 0-)

    For heart ailment,if he ever had a heart in the first place

  •  I'm guessing that the vast (6+ / 0-)

    majority of the 8 million signed up not because of the mandate and possible fines, but because it was something they desperately wanted and needed.

  •  I don't understand the 5.7 million number. (0+ / 0-)

    Before ACA, uninsured numbers were up around 40 million, weren't they? How does it get down to 5.7 mn?

  •  ObamaCare Plan vs. the Republican Plan (7+ / 0-)

    So we have 19 million more with insurance, and should have 24.7 million. We've eliminated the insurance company's ability to screw the consumer with preexisting conditions or dropping you when you get sick. The mandate eliminates the free riders who just use the emergency room as their doctor. The cost curve is bending. It reduces the deficit.

    That's our plan, Republicans. After five years of opposing ObamaCare, what's yours?



    •  To be fair, O-Care is the Republican plan. (0+ / 0-)

      The Republicans were for it before they were against it.

      •  Progressives don't get what drives Republicans (3+ / 0-)

        The leading example of this is the insistence that Rs supported the ACA before and aren't doing so now only because Obama was pushing it. They make the significant mistake of assuming previous republican support for something vaguely like the ACA was genuinely driven by achieving that policy goal, cause it wasn't.

        A group of moderate/liberal republican Senators proposed something like the ACA in opposition to Bill Clinton's proposal in ''93. But as if to show Republican .lack of seriousness, once they killed reform what did their moderate senate leader run on as the Republican nominee for president only 2 years later? Giving people a coupon for health savings accounts, just like Bush, McCain, and Romney proposed.

        Furthermore, when republicans controlled all branches of government from 2001-2007, not only did they not push anything like the ACA, but they didn't even have an inkling of interest in taking on the goal of insuring more people. It just doesn't interest them and if anything it's the opposite goal of insuring more people that drives them. Their 2 pillars of healthcare policy are the block-granting of Medicaid and the voucherizing of Medicare. The ethos behind those policies isn't just inconsistent with supporting the ACA, its in opposition to it. Why would anyone expect a party that currently wants to significantly shrink programs that benefit the poor like SNAP and Medicaid to support a law that's the biggest expansion in 40 yrs of the "hammock" they so despise.

  •  Obamacare won't go away as an issue. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ahumbleopinion, auapplemac

    For the past five years, GOP politicians have been ranting about how Obamacare will destroy everyone 24/7, and the average Republican voter believes this, and wants repeal. Candidates will continue to push for opposition against Obamacare, and they can't reverse themselves overnight. If a GOP Senate and/or president becomes a reality, you can expect the Repubs to use every trick they can to weaken Obamacare (weaken individual mandate, change minimum hours, roll back minimum benefits etc.) just like they have rolled back access to abortion even with Roe v. Wade in place.

    In other words, elections do have consequences, and Obamacare's future is up for grabs.

    •  Republicans have been able to get away with (4+ / 0-)

      threatening Social Security and Medicare because the people directly affected are particularly susceptible to the GOP lies and the impact on younger folks is not immediate so they are not paying attention.  Threatening health care however is now an immediate risk for 19-25 million Americans, their friends and families.  That does not even count people who have additional benefits under Medicare and better private policies and consumer protections.

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

      by ahumbleopinion on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 02:49:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Headline is misleading. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auapplemac

    PBO didn't say 8 million are now insured. He said 8 million have signed up. Probably means 7 million or so will end up with actual working policies, based on how the percentages have been working so far, but we won't know the final numbers of actual insured for a while.

    "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

    by NWTerriD on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 02:45:51 PM PDT

  •  Unfortunately, Republicans see 5.7 million (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raspberryberet

    poor people without health insurance as a feature, not a bug.

    Hey GOP! You'll get my Obamacare when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. And thanks to Obamacare, that just may be awhile.

    by jazzmaniac on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 03:01:15 PM PDT

  •  Trouble with numbers: (0+ / 0-)
    35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old
    That appears to say, "7% of those who signed up are under 18."  But I didn't think a 17-year-old could sign up.

     I'm assuming "between 18 and 34" is inclusive.  If not, it appears to say "The 18-year-olds and the 34-year-olds are 7% of the total."

  •  The exact number is irrelevant (3+ / 0-)

    The ACA is working exactly as it was supposed to. If Dems enthusiastically run on their support of the ACA they will win. If they run away from it they will lose. The Republicans cannot win this fight. They are also incapable of backing down. They are caught in their own trick bag and there is no escape.

    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.... Dylan

    by bywaterbob on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 08:58:33 PM PDT

    •  Working exactly as it is supposed to is exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DQKennard

      what I'm afraid of. A support system for the giant insurance industry. Attempts to reign in the insurance industry are noble, but bound to fail. Have you tried to read the details of your insurance policy? Can you understand it? High deductibles and exceptions and more deductibles and more exceptions, and language so obscure that it's impossible to understand--so we still don't know what benefits we have access to. Oh, "prevention" but not if you're actually sick unless the deductibles are met. And those of you so excited about Obamacare probably aren't the ones who've signed up on the exchanges and then tried to find out your benefits. I've already been defeated twice by my new exchange plan: they won't cover the medication I've been taking for 10 years (buying it in CAnada and have to continue to do so as I can get 3 month's supply $30 cheaper than I can get one month's supply here--and yes, there is a generic now) and I am turned down by one of the two local clinics in my town because they won't take exchange plans. And I've given up on the  first clinic because of the chronic bad service and mistakes made by the front office. Insurance is not health care, and many of us will continue to avoid going to the doc because of the high deductibles, while also paying high premiums--or the gov't partially paying those high premiums to insurance companies who still want to deny us care in order to make money to fund high CEO salaries and keep shareholders earning their dividends. I'd say we can't yet say it's working to deliver health care, though clearly a lot of people are excited to have health insurance. Let's see how excited they are when they try to use it over the next year.

  •  Its working. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raspberryberet

    It is great. I support it. I still want single-payer. Whine whine.

    oldenoughtoknowbetter

    by joedennis on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:16:50 AM PDT

  •  Piss off a Republican Day (0+ / 0-)

    My Favorite...!

  •  The hate and racism runs deep. (0+ / 0-)

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site