Browsing Archive: November, 2013

Media narrative on the ACA: is it over the top?

Posted by Timothy McBride on Saturday, November 30, 2013, In : ACA 
It seems we cannot open up a newspaper, or listen to a newscast these days without hearing reference to how troubled the "rollout" of "Obamacare" is.  This seems a dominant media narrative, deserved or not.  

Just for kicks, I did a quick and (I am sure not exhaustive) search on "Lexis/Nexis" to see how many references I could come up with to this.  Using just the parts of the database limited to "all news (English)" and "broadcast transcripts" and limiting the search to articles posted on Oct...
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Interesting preliminary data on age distribution of ACA enrollees

Posted by Timothy McBride on Friday, November 29, 2013, In : ACA 
A Reuters report (link sent to me by Chris Conover; thanks Chris) reports that in four states where they have reports about 20% of new enrollees are 18-34 years old (ranging from 19% in KY to 27% in MD). The report indicates that "The Obama administration is aiming to enroll about 2.7 million 18-to-35 year olds in the exchanges by the end of March, out of 7 million total, or about 38 percent."

The age distribution seems actually better than I might have expected at this early stage.  Many repo...

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Why is media minimizing impact of ACA?

Posted by Timothy McBride on Friday, November 29, 2013, In : ACA 
Persistent reports on the impact of the rollout of the new insurance options for 2014 under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have fixated on the enrollments in the new Marketplaces, where private plans are being offered. 

Why is it that the media is not reporting widely the TOTAL number of previously uninsured who are obtaining coverage through all sources, including the marketplace plans as well as Medicaid coverage?

The recent updates from Kaiser show that over 741,000 people are now enrolled, a...
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What if all states had adopted State-Based Exchanges?

Posted by Timothy McBride on Thursday, November 21, 2013, In : ACA 
In the many things to dissect about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), one thing we will study is the decisions by states not to operate their own Marketplaces, and states not adopting Medicaid expansion. 

Given the problems to date with the federal website, it is notable that this likely has hampered many people in the 36 states not operating a state marketplace.  One measure of this is that of the 993,635 people who applied for coverage in the state marketplaces, only 21% were enrolled in market...
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Enrollment in ACA starting to accelerate?

Posted by Timothy McBride on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, In : ACA 
As is being reported in some media outlets, in November the enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be accelerating.  

This is being shown by preliminary data reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is tracking state enrollment where it can get regular updates from the states.

In the three states where Kaiser has new updates since the administration released the nationwide report (of enrollment through November 2), there is a 28% increase in enrollment of 36,641 persons.  It bre...
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About 75% of new Medicaid enrollment in states expanding Medicaid

Posted by Timothy McBride on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, In : ACA 
Based on the report published last week, about three-quarters (74.2%, or 293,984 people) of the new enrollment in Medicaid (from October 1 to November 2) occurred in the 26 states (including D.C.).  This means that the remaining increase in enrollment -- 25.8%, or 102,277 people -- has occurred in the 25 states that have not expanded Medicaid so far.

This may not seem like a surprise, because perhaps some might ask: of course the new enrollment is occurring mostly in the states that expanded M...
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State Based Marketplaces Much More Successful in Enrolling People under ACA

Posted by Timothy McBride on Monday, November 18, 2013, In : ACA 
Last week the administration released data on the number of people who have applied for, and been enrolled in, insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  As has been widely reported, 106,185 people enrolled in the state and federal Marketplaces, and 396,291 enrolled in Medicaid plans, for a total of 502,446 enrolled.

How well are these state-based and federal Marketplaces doing in enrolling people, especially relative to the number of uninsured in the states?  Some overall impressions, ...
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Making sense of Enrollment reports: State Based Marketplaces

Posted by Timothy McBride on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, In : ACA 
There are now several places tracking and reporting numbers enrolled in the state-based Marketplaces.  For example, the New York Times this morning reported on what is happening in the state-based Marketplaces which are generally working better than the much-maligned federal Marketplace (healthcare.gov).  

I have put together a table to compare the estimates from the New York Times, Avalere, and Advisroy Board, all that are reporting numbers on a semi-regular basis.  Just to be clear, not all ...
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Get ready for a wild ready on enrollment numbers

Posted by Timothy McBride on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, In : ACA 
We are starting to see early reports on "enrollment" numbers in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplaces in various places.  It could be a real wild ride, and as in any reports on data, it could get very confusing.  And, unfortunately, when numbers are confusing, and all over the place, that could lead to a situation where pundits or politicians pick and choose the numbers they want to choose to make the numbers look bad, or good, depending on their point of view.

Officially the federal gove...
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The Health Reform Have- and Have-Not States

Posted by Timothy McBride on Monday, November 11, 2013, In : ACA 
As the press and pundits rush to judgment (apparently) on deciding how "Obamacare" is going they ought to actually stop to ponder that the Affordable Care Act is not just one program, not a federal program, rolling out the same in every part of the country.  In fact, what we are witnessing is essentially 51 different health reforms being rolled out in the 50 states and D.C., and taking on different forms everywhere.

One way to characterize the way this is rolling out is on two major dimensions...
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Politics will leave some uninsured

Posted by Timothy McBride on Monday, November 11, 2013, In : ACA 
It is worth remembering that because of policy and political decisions many of the uninsured will not have access to the options for coverage available under the Affordable Coverage Act (ACA).  At least two major groups are important:

Thus about 14 million (see Table here) are not ev...

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Press is missing the boat on ACA by not covering State-Based Marketplaces?

Posted by Timothy McBride on Sunday, November 10, 2013, In : ACA 
There has been much hyperbole in the press about the "failure" of "Obamacare" because of the problems with the federal healthcare.gov website.  The focus on this website and perhaps few enrollments through this website and many mentions of this seems odd given that in 17 states individuals will enroll through state-based Marketplaces.

The Kaiser Foundation is reporting preliminary data on these state-based Marketplaces on their website, at least for 15 of these states.  They report that 227,81...
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About Me


Timothy McBride Timothy D. McBride, Ph.D. is a Professor at the Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis. Here you can find musings on health policy and other issues. Opinions are my own, and not those of my employer. Contact: mcbridetd@gmail.com