ACA has really turned that corner

REUTERS/Brian Snyder
The ACA has fully turned the corner. It had a lot to overcome. The technology was awful. Several state exchanges never got off the ground. Minnesota had its problems as well. But that was an inconvenience.

Let’s look at the Republican arguments about Obamacare:

1) Enough people aren’t signing up. That worked for awhile, but the incredible surge at the end has met the ORIGINAL projection of 7 million people. And it’s not over as people “in the queue” finish up their registration, it could be quite a bit higher.

2) It’s not dropping the uninsured rate. Except that a Rand Corp report says just the opposite. The rate of uninsured in the US has dropped from 20% down to 16% — and that study doesn’t have all the new data.

3) Not enough young people signing up. That was true over the course of the early sign-ups, but new data is busting this issue as well. As in the Massachusetts state model, the younger sign-ups are coming in at the end. In addition, a lot of off-site sign-ups have a lot more of the millenials involved. One site said that 51% of new enrollees were under 35.

4) Too many Medicaid enrollees. At first this was a critique of the ratio — Qualified Health Plans to Medicaid. However, the good news here is that a lot of the poor that were uninsured are now getting health care. The numbers in states that accepted the Medicaid expansion have been particularly impressive. The Red States that rejected the Expansion are now starting to hear from people who now realize they could have gotten insurance. Red state numbers have been estimated at 7.7 million that could have had Medicaid insurance. There are a lot of uninsured people involved here and although they are on a state plan, the Feds budgeted the money in the ACA to pay for this. So now these newly insured will not jack up premiums for everyone else by using the emergency room as their health plan.

5) But the premiums are not being paid. The data on this has always been a mystery. The government couldn’t seem to get a handle on the numbers. But Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finally put out a statement that indicated 80 to 90% HAVE paid the premiums. Another source put out an educated projection stating that 85% have paid and that a lot of the rest were just waiting for their first premium statement. The GOP will be trying to make a point that you are not “officially” signed up until you pay — but insurance companies are pleased and a lot of this can be attributed to paperwork delays in getting that first premium notice out.

***

The ACA has fully turned the corner. It had a lot to overcome. The technology was awful. Several state exchanges never got off the ground. Minnesota had its problems as well. But that was an inconvenience. The kind of inconvenience that we should be used to when dealing with health insurance companies. The real point is that millions of people ARE getting insurance.

With Qualified Plans, Medicaid Coverage and Expansion, adding young adults up to age 26 on parents plans, and the off-exchange sign ups at other health care websites -estimates get into the 16 to 18 million people getting insurance.

There are people still signing up. A lot of state exchanges are adopting the “in the queue” method, where if you get an application started, you will be given the time needed to complete it. Who knows how many more that will add to the 7+ million already there.

The GOP will still pick apart the numbers to criticize the law. They have to. They have invested ALL of their political capital into an ACA failure. But it looks now like that will not happen. The numbers prove it.

A Washington Post/ABC Poll put out on 3/31 indicates that for the first time since 2009, the approval for Obamacare has finally turned positive. 49% approve of the law, 48% disapprove.

You will probably start to see a wisp of desperation from GOP circles over the next few months. Ignore the shrillness of the voices. The ACA has turned the corner and all arrows are pointing up.

This post was written David Mindeman and originally published on mnpACT! Progressive Political Blog. Follow Dave on Twitter: @newtbuster.

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Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by chuck holtman on 04/01/2014 - 11:32 am.

    Yes, but why do you reference the obfuscatory polls

    That weaken your message? The “disapprove” has always included at least 10% of respondents who want something stronger. A Kaiser Family poll this month (I’m not aware of its polling lean, if any) showed 59% want to keep ACA as it is, or keep it and improve it, while 29% said repeal or repeal and replace. The numbers were 89/7 for Democrats, and 52/32 for “Independents.”

  2. Submitted by Lora Jones on 04/01/2014 - 11:45 am.

    Yes, it’s turned the corner

    word of mouth and personal experience is beginning to overcome the Cons misinformation campaign. Poor Sen. Cruz got answers he didn’t expect and definitely didn’t want when he asked whether “you are better off now than before Obamacare” on Facebook. The majority of responses were “Yes!”

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 04/01/2014 - 03:20 pm.

      If that was the case

      a lot of people lied.

      Over 5 million people LOST their health insurance because of Obamacare. Of the 7 million people who were “signed up,” how many didn’t have health insurance before and how many were simply buying replacement insurance? How many were put on Medicaid?

      Bottom line, the health insurance system was totally blown up for 300 million people so a net 2 million people could get subsidized health insurance. Typical democrat solution.

      • Submitted by Lora Jones on 04/01/2014 - 04:04 pm.

        The “5 million”

        is made up number. Best real numbers from Rand and Gallup is maybe 1, a lot of whom were able to convert. #s aren’t in about how many were uninsured, but a goodly drop in the % of uninsured, and New York and Kentucky exchange data, which shows 60% previously uninsured and 75%, respectively, belys that fact. Also, the 7.1 Million is private insurance only — there’s another 4-5 M with Medicaid and another 3M or so young people who’ve gotten onto their parent’s policies per the expansion.

        Fact is, the health insurance system was not blown up. Check the stock prices. All those ins. co. CEOs are very very happy. Personally, I wish it had been “blown up” and replaced with Medicare for all. Now THAT would have been a democratic solution!

      • Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 04/01/2014 - 07:00 pm.

        More Faux Facts

        The lost insurance argument, the paid or not paid argument , the did not have insurance argument and net being lost vs. sign ups are desperate spins on the truth. Between 13 and 17 M have insurance that did not, the payment rate is about 85% after 30 days, about 35-40% of the signers were “indestructibles” and there is another group, the off exchange QHP ‘s that has been estimated to be between 4-6M, so we may have as many as 17-23M newly insured citizens,
        So now we have reduced the number of uninsured by 4-5% nationwide! If that is blowing up, let’s get more dynamite.

  3. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 04/01/2014 - 12:22 pm.

    State Exchanges

    My girlfriend decided to check out both the Wisconsin and Minnesota exchanges to see how they measured up for her family. She found that the most expensive Minnesota plan was cheaper than the cheapest Badgercare plan. I’m not sure why Wisconsin is do hideously expensive where we’re so cheap, but those are the results.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/01/2014 - 01:42 pm.

      How many insurance companies

      are offering policies in the two states?
      And you might look at who runs the governments of the two states.

      • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 04/02/2014 - 04:17 pm.

        Rates

        I’ll have to get the rates from her to see how they compare to the plan offered through my job. Judging from her email (in its entirety: “Eeks!”), I would say my company plan did not fare well.

  4. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 04/01/2014 - 09:57 pm.

    Numbers

    It’s not over until it’s over meaning until we know exact numbers of how many have paid, how many uninsured who wanted to get an insurance have signed up, how many young people have signed up, how many will continue paying after figuring out that with huge deductible nothing is really covered, how much it cost us, etc.

    By the way, if the government decreed that anyone who doesn’t sign up will be shot, the rates would be even higher!

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/02/2014 - 09:11 am.

      You’re right

      The numbers are going to increase over the next few years.
      This is just the beginning of a program that will become the new normal.
      Like Social Security, Medicare, etc., we’ll wonder how we ever lived without it.
      For -most- people (despite the scare stories featuring paid actors) it’s a good deal.

  5. Submitted by rolf westgard on 04/02/2014 - 05:40 am.

    Republican collars tighten

    Republican election hopes are pinned on human misery from lack of health insurance. Those hopes fade as ACA gradually overcomes early problems.

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