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A woman fills out her thoughts on the Affordable Care Act at the White House Youth Summit on the Affordable Care Act in Washington December 4, 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama urged Americans not to be discouraged by the rocky rollout of on Tuesday and vowed to fix whatever glitches remain as he sought to restore confidence in his leadership...REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEALTH) - RTX163UH
The House Republican's big Obamacare-as-Benghazi effort has failed, so while they pivot back to the "real" Benghazi, it's worth a deeper looking into the real Obamacare numbers from the first enrollment period because these numbers signal the death knell of repeal.

There's an awful lot in the report released Thursday to point to an extremely successful first run. To start with, the administration is pleased by how many people enrolled—and the population enrolled—and is going out on a limb of suggesting that means premium prices won't see a big hike.

"The risk pool is fundamentally large and varied to support that kind of pricing…in every state," said Mike Hash, director of the office of health reform for the Health and Human Services Department. "We believe … premiums will be stable."
That includes about 28 percent in the 18-34 age group, the most coveted demographic for insurers. That success is accounted for in the states that embraced the law and worked the hardest to make it work, but not entirely those states. Utah had a target of 57,000 enrollments, they got nearly 85,000. Among some of the other states that used the federal site, a handful, including Idaho, Florida, North Carolina, and Michigan, exceeded expectations. Some of those states, particularly those with big senate or governor races this fall, are worth taking a closer look at.
  • Florida enrolled nearly 1 million people, coming in second only to California. Thirty-one percent of them are in the 18-34 group, and 90 percent of them qualified for subsidies.
  • North Carolina doubled expectations, enrolling almost 360,000 people. More than 90 percent got the subsidy, and 28 percent are 18-34.
  • Michigan has exceeded expectations, with nearly 273,000 new enrollees. Michigan expanded Medicaid, and enrolled an additional 30,428 people in that program and SCHIP during the enrollment period.

Other key states in the Senate race picture exceeded expectations for enrollments: Louisiana, New Hampshire, Colorado, Montana and Georgia.

Repeal is dead as an issue for all but craziest Republicans in the most extreme House districts. No Republican senator or Senate candidate is going to be able to go into a general election arguing that hundreds of thousands of their constituents should lose their health insurance. But they'll always have Benghazi.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 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 Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:15:44 AM PDT

  •  If you squint really hard, click your heels (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jdmorg, scribeboy, ontheleftcoast

    together, and hum loudly enough, then maybe, JUST MAYBE, you can make something up to use this fall against the Democrats.

    Or not.  But they're sure trying.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:49:08 AM PDT

    •  Remember near the end of the movie (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Trading Places Where the Duke's scheme to corner the market was foiled? One of the Duke's gets down on the floor and demands they turn the machines back on. He desperately wants a "do-over", or a mulligan, some way to undo the damage to their fortune. That's the GOP in the wake of the massive success of Obamacare. Yeah, yeah, you can argue that it isn't single payer, you can argue about its shortcomings. But you can't argue with the fact it succeeded against all the efforts of the GOP to stop it. And the only thing they can do is ask for a "do-over". "Turn the machines back on! Turn them back on!"

      GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

      by ontheleftcoast on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:42:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  OCare has enough young people and will gain more (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zeta Retuculi, JayBat
    "The risk pool is fundamentally large and varied to support that kind of pricing…in every state," said Mike Hash, director of the office of health reform for the Health and Human Services Department. "We believe … premiums will be stable."
    That includes about 28 percent in the 18-34 age group, the most coveted demographic for insurers.
    Only 25% percent of the 18-34 age group is needed to keep premiums from spiking.


    Even If Young Adults Comprise Only 25 Percent Of Marketplace, Premiums Will Not Skyrocket.In a December 27 CBS News article, Stephanie Condon reported on the study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, noting "even if young adults only made up 25 percent of the market rather than 40 percent, overall costs in individual market plans would only be about 2.4 percent higher than premium revenues."

    WellPoint, the nation's second largest insurer and the biggest player in the individual insurer market has changed its tune about having to raise premiums significantly because of Obamacare.

    Five weeks ago WellPoint executive Ken Goulet told analysts that premium increases for 2015 plans “will probably be in double-digit plus.”

    On Wednesday’s conference call to discuss first-quarter results, WellPoint bosses talked less about price hikes and more about the surprising number of young adults they signed at the March 31 enrollment deadline for plans sold through the online exchanges.

    The volume of last-minute enrollment “was not only substantial vs. our expectations,” said Wayne DeVeydt, WellPoint’s chief financial officer, but “we saw in each day’s applications the average age coming down in meaningful fashion.”

    For insurance pools in which the healthy subsidize the sick, analysts watch the age of enrollees carefully. Younger members are typically healthier than older ones and are seen as an important stabilizer — even though their premiums are lower.

    WellPoint is still analyzing the 1 million or so members who signed up for its new plans through the online portals as well as directly with the company and its Anthem Blue Cross divisions. But executives said repeatedly they were pleased with the mix of customers and with the prices they set for 2014.

    “We think because we hit the sweet spot” in 2014 rates, “there’ll be less volatility in pricing for our members than there would be for others,” DeVeydt said.

    "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 Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:25:55 AM PDT

  •  Yes, a campaign issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chitown Kev

    but we must MAKE it a campaign issue. Not just expect Democratic Party leaders to do so. Remind your friends and relatives. Remind them of Republican intransigence, Republican fanaticism.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:46:41 AM PDT

  •  Do you have enrollment numbers in Benghazi? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Or should I ask Brainwrap?

    "There is just one way to save yourself, and that's to get together and work and fight for everybody." ---Woody Guthrie (quoted by Jim Hightower in The Progressive Populist April 1, 2012, p3)

    by CitizenJoe on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:51:49 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Joan McCarter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayBat, joy bit

    It seems that saying thank you is SO SMALL for all of the wonderful work that you have done to help keep us informed on the health care issue. And to counter the relentless GOP lies, distortions and skepticism about the new health care law. The GOP gambled ..... big time ...... that they could somehow derail this noble effort to expand coverage to millions more Americans. And now they seem like spoiled children throwing a tantrum because they didn't get their way. This is especially sickening since they have no REAL ALTERNATIVE to the new law. But I have learned over the years that Republicans are shameless. Considering that a few million people in Texas and Louisiana and other poor states could have access to health care coverage under an expansion od Medicaid, at no cost to the state for the first three years .... but STILL won't because of their shamelessly partisan Republican governors and state legislators only makes me despise Republicans with every ounce of strength that I have.

    "Love Is Why We're Here"

    by Paniolo Joe on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:54:11 AM PDT

    •  Thanks to Joan McCarter (0+ / 0-)

      I totally agree. Joan has been, and continues to be AWESOME. She doesn't get nearly enough kudos for doing such excellent work. Thanks for writing such a nice note about her to show her we really do appreciate what she does.

  •  But as repugs run away from ObamaCare... (0+ / 0-)

    we must force them to keep "mumbling" something inaudible about it...

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

    by tuma on Fri May 02, 2014 at 11:55:31 AM PDT

  •  BENGHAZI!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:01:51 PM PDT

  •  RE: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayBat, tuma
    No Republican senator or Senate candidate is going to be able to go into a general election arguing that hundreds of thousands of their constituents should lose their health insurance.
    My right-wing father recently attended a campaign event for Karen Handel. You might remember her as the infamous former Georgia Sec-of-State and disgruntled  ex-employee of Susan G. Komen. Handel is currently running for U.S. Senate in Georgia.

    Dad was very impressed with her and intends to vote for her in the Republican primary on May 20th. I asked why. He said that somebody asked her if she would try to repeal Obamacare or try to fix it. Handel's response was that the best way to fix Obamacare is to repeal it. She secured Dad's vote with that response.

    •  Incidentally, the likely Democratic nominee (0+ / 0-)

      for Georgia Senator, Michelle Nunn, is running TV ads saying that she wants to go to Washington to end health insurance subsidies for Congress. You know...that obscure Fox News complaint about Congressional staff getting their health insurance subsidized by their employer (just like any full-time employee).

      Nunn is running as a Republican-lite in Georgia under the false notion that people like my old man will actually vote for a Democrat if the Democrat acts crazy enough. It'll never happen. If she can't appeal to Democrats enough to get them to the polls this November (which she won't do by running as a moderate Republican), then she's toast.

    •  I understand, but this is primary campaigning (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cjo30080 most (all?) states, Republican senate candidates have to play to the Benghazi wing of the party (your father, apparently). So the ACA is front-and-center.

      But in the general, in most states, they'll need to soft-pedal that issue. Joan perhaps is being a little over optimisitic that Georgia (+7.8% for Romney in 2012)  is one of those states this year, but it'll come, and it won't be a long time.

  •  2014, maybe. 2016 -- for sure. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayBat, MikeTheLiberal

    There's no way a Republican will get the nomination without explicitly calling for repeal.  That will be pure gold for us.  

    I don't expect as much impact in 2014 . . . still too new, still too much misinformation.

    But in two years . . . oh bring it on, Jebbie!

    Think about the baby Jesus. Up in that tower, letting His hair down so that the three wise men could climb up and spin the dreidle and see if there's six more weeks of winter. -- Will and Grace

    by Rikon Snow on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:02:41 PM PDT

    •  Don't think Jebbie can explicitly call for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rikon Snow, MikeTheLiberal

      repeal...he'd mumble something in the line of - we keep the good stuff, "repeal" the bad stuff.
      -But how does that get him through to the Cliven Bundys of these nation? I have no clue...

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

      by tuma on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:23:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now Faux News will surely tell their ... (0+ / 0-)

    viewers/sheep that everyone who has obtained insurance with the help of ObamaCare is yet still another class of moochers/free loaders. The problem I see  for Faux is that the groups of people they classify as "takers" keeps increasing in size and must start overlapping with their core audience. With the kind of enrollment numbers we're seeing there has to some of their viewers in there. It's easier to demonize someone when they are part of the "other" but will they finally wake up to the Faux lies when they realize it's them that's being talked about?

    “Without a struggle, there can be no progress.” ― Frederick Douglass

    by TrueBlueMountaineer on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:05:28 PM PDT

    •  Keep Government Out of My Social Security! (0+ / 0-)

      There is no limit to ignorance.  Thus Fox plays its inevitable trump . . .

      Think about the baby Jesus. Up in that tower, letting His hair down so that the three wise men could climb up and spin the dreidle and see if there's six more weeks of winter. -- Will and Grace

      by Rikon Snow on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:09:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  BenGhazi is insider baseball (0+ / 0-)

    For the average Dude/Dudette, there is no resonance. At best it can fire up your extremists and get them to the polls, but taking away someone's newly acquired, subsidized health care will motivate in the opposite direction.

    Time for Dems to go on offense re the ACA.

    I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

    by peterfallow on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:05:38 PM PDT

  •  It's surprising to learn that Florida, despite (0+ / 0-)

    the effort by the state to obstruct the process, signed up 983,775 people in private insurance plans through while California, with twice the population and a hugely expensive effort and outreach by Covered California, did not enroll twice Florida's number, but only 1,405,102 through the state exchange.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:30:31 PM PDT

  •  butbutbut (0+ / 0-)

    where are the numbers on how many the DEATH PANELS have euthanized?!!?!? How many women, children, and seniors have been "literally" killed? White House coverup!!! DEATHGHAZI!!!

    What do we want? Evidence-based change! When do we want it? After peer review!

    by puckmtl on Fri May 02, 2014 at 12:31:18 PM PDT

  •  I really wish the Republicans ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... would only investigate serious wrongdoing by the administration.

    The problem is, when everything is serious, nothing is serious.

    They are the political party that cried "Wolf" one too many times.

    "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

    by MikeTheLiberal on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:06:59 PM PDT

  •  It can still be gutted. (0+ / 0-)

    Millions of Republican voters hate Obamacare and want to see it gone. There are many ways that it can be weakened without repealing it. Just look at the dozens of bills the House has passed - changing the definition of a full-time worker, weakening the individual mandate, getting rid of the minimum benefits etc. Just like abortion access was significantly curbed without an outright ban, Obamacare can be gutted as well and all-but-repealed.

  •  Sorry but (0+ / 0-)

    As an independent democratic socialist I just can't get excited about a plan that puts money into the pockets of big pharma and health insurance companies while the ACA is very limited of how it helps those who actually needed it.

    If Obama said there was zero chance of the ACA getting passed with a Public Option, Hillary Clinton would be president today and not Obama.

    These last 6 years were just a waste of time. Repeal it, don't repeal it. I don't care. This wasn't supposed about putting college kids on their parents plan. It was supposed to be about giving healthcare to those without any healthcare.

    On the plains of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who at the dawn of victory lay down to rest, and in resting died. -- Adlai Stevenson

    by Ghost of NY on Fri May 02, 2014 at 01:20:32 PM PDT

  •  Obama care repeal (0+ / 0-)

    You say that only the craziest republicans in the most extreme districts are going to make it into the general election on the idea of repealing Obama care. Well, here in Oregon, not exactly one of the most extreme states, we have a pediatric neurosurgeon who is backed by lots of Karl Rove, (I believe) money and whose husband is an ultraconservative 1% fundraiser for all things selfish and greedy. She apparently is a very successful surgeon who, I assume, sees Obama care as a direct threat to her very lucrative practice while I am not sure why she should think that. She originally is from Kentucky or Tennessee and has a kind of a twang. And, here she is, in Oregon, running for senate against, of all people, Jeff Merkely who has been an AWESOME senator on a lot of fronts. And she is running solely, as far as I can tell, on "repeal and replace" Obama care.

    I'm personally glad she is running in Oregon against Jeff Merkely. I hope she spends a fortune on ads and to put her name and (single) idea out there. It will be amusing to hear what she has to say about taking away the insurance that a couple of hundred thousand now have who didn't have it just a few short months ago and what her plans would be to replace it.

    This just goes to show that yes, there are still crazies out there. Even in places that are usually sensible, like Oregon. And with unlimited money backing them up, I hope they spend and spend and spend. The more, the better.

  •  Obamacare and jobs/min wage a winning trio (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obamacare will raise the number of jobs in the medical field.

    Obamacare will allow older Americans to retire earlier and/or start their own businesses.

    Raising the minimum wage to at least $10.10 will allow more middle class and poor Americans to contribute to the growth of the economy, especially with the increase in jobs available due to Obamacare.

    More people with more benefits greatly outweighs a little less comfort, waste, and luxury for the 1% and the .1%.

  •  If Alabama sets up its own exchange... (0+ / 0-)

    It should be called ALPPACA.

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