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First of all, after my exclusive analysis of the ACA Medicaid enrollment situation last week, which concluded that the true grand total number of Medicaid/CHIP enrollments is actually as much as 6.4 Million (some 1.9 million higher than previously thought), I was planning on actually breaking down those numbers on a state-by-state basis.

Unfortunately, after trying to work out the best way of doing so all day today, I simply can't do it without making the spreadsheet itself too damned complicated for anyone to understand. Plus, there's the added possibility that I could be wrong (even though I've double-checked my math 8 ways from Sunday and the methodology has been confirmed by a CMS official).

In short, I'm 99% certain that the grand total is somewhere around 6.4 million or so...but the CMS & HHS reports are so confusingly worded and partially-overlapping, plus some additional factors, that I have no way of breaking it down by state.

As a result, I've decided to hold tight and leave it at the current 4.5 million level until HHS/CMS straightens their act out and releases a more clear report on Medicaid/CHIP enrollment that includes--and separates out--Federal Exchange, State Exchange, Direct Enrollments and lets me know for certain whether the Direct column includes (or doesn't include) the one-time Special Enrollments such as CA's LIHP transfer and so forth.

Until then, I simply don't trust the numbers enough to publish them on a state-by-state basis, and this is frustrating as hell.

The second reason is because immediately after coming to this conclusion, I visited dKos only to find this front page diary which cites a study by Harvard Prof. Theda Skocpol...which in turn is based almost entirely on my own work.

Normally I would be thrilled at the additional publicity. Unfortunately, as I explained in a detailed response to Prof. Skocpol's brief 2 weeks ago--her study is, quite frankly, flawed.

In short, she used the 15 state exchange's data through January 4, but the data from the 36 federal exchanges only through November 30.
Considering that about 80% of the enrollments to date happened in December, this completely skews the results heavily in favor of the state exchanges, and thus renders her chart (showing enrollment rate success favoring the state exchanges by a 10:1 advantage) pretty much meaningless.

The overall conclusions of both Prof. Skocpol and the dKos diary are undoubtedly correct (ie, the states that are cooperating with the ACA are more successful at enrolling people than the ones opposing it...hardly an earth-shattering announcement), but to have my own work miscalculated by a Harvard professor and then to see the faulty conclusions from that cited on a front-page story here at Daily Kos (where, ironically, the ACASignups project started in the first place) is simply infuriating.

Put another way: With the correct data, my guess is that there is probably still like a 3:1 or 4:1 advantage for the state exchanges...but hardly 10:1. I look forward to an updated, corrected brief from Prof. Skocpol, but until that is released, I'd approach the current one with a HUGE grain of salt.

Goodnight, everyone.


Update: Thanks for the encouraging words, everyone.

As I said, looks like my Big Medicaid Tallyboard Update will have to wait, but I do have the other project that ArcticStones and I have been pursuing--direct private enrollments (ie, people buying ACA-compliant policies directly via the insurance companies, bypassing the exchanges). This is actually a more significant story, in our view, than the Medicaid tally, and is one that we were working on before the Medicaid thing came up, so hopefully we'll make some headway on that in the next week or two...

Update x2: Thanks again for even more supportive words :)

Also, FYI, the author of the diary w/the Prof. Skopcol link got back to me about it. Hopefully that's the last time that'll come up lol...

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