The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

ACA: A Democrat Party Success Story; And A Story For US History

The reality of a changing (or changed) US national healthcare/insurance system has taken hold. With a 9.2 million enrollment via the improved Healthcare Dot Gov website, and as many as 20 plus million receiving improved healthcare coverage via the ACA (AKA via Republicans ObamaCare) it appears "the good happened." The GOP is backing away from the ACA fight and the law is reaping benefits for large numbers of enrollees. 

American voters should recognize the fallacy of GOP leadership and governance. Eric Cantor and John Boehner held 54 frivolous (to appease their money brokers) votes at a total cost of $85 million (RD).

ACA enrollment data and reports of declining health care "out-pf-pocket" costs are changing the political landscape. Republicans no longer mention the ACA (ObamaCare), and more GOP states are moving towards expanding Medicaid.

Interestingly, the GOP is also no longer mentioning the US economy. But, I digressed!

A quick visit with Charles Gaba's ACASignUps Dot Net webpage yields data that refutes a major GOP predictions: "...let's see how many enrollees actually pay for coverage."  
Estimated Exchange QHPs* as of 8/31/14: 8.00M PAID (9.21M Total)
Estimated Total, all sources: (23.7 Million - 28.4 Million)
Exchange + Off-Exchange QHPs: 16.0M • Medicaid/CHIP (6.0M - 9.1M)
ESIs** (155K confirmed; up to 8M more possible) • Sub26ers (1.6M - 3.1M)
*  QHP = Qualified Health Plan
**ESI = Employer-Sponsored Insurance
The Graph, Updated: PAID QHPs should have broken 8 Million at last! (9.2M total)
Happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone!
If my calculations are correct, the total number of ACA exchange-based QHP enrollments should now be at around 9.2 million...and the number of people who have paid for their first month's premium should have finally crossed the 8 Million milestone right (plus or minus a week or so).
Now, as I've noted many times before, this does not mean that there are 8 million people currently enrolled, since just as around 9,000 people have been continuing to enroll each day since the end of open enrollment, so too perhaps 3% of the current enrollees are likely dropping their ACA policies each month as well, meaning that the current number of paid enrollees is likely hovering around 7.1 - 7.2 million at the moment.
Who knows, perhaps the HHS Dept. will surprise everyone (especially myself) and make some sort of announcement about passing the 8 million paid milestone this week? That would be nice...
Another false prediction and false mantra from the GOP: "The ACA will increase heath-acre cost." 

Talking Points Memo reported a new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services includes data indicting "out-of-pocket" spending for 2013 health services are expected to decrease with the lower figures directly attributable to the Affordable Care Act. 

Excerpt from, TPM
( “Used with permission from the TPM websites, a service of TPM Media LLC.”)
CMS said the decline would occur "largely because of expanded insurance coverage through Medicaid and the (insurance) Marketplaces." They also credited the cost-sharing subsidies available to Obamacare enrollees below 250 percent of the federal poverty level.
"This expected decline in out-of-pocket spending is a direct result of the Affordable Care Act, increasing coverage and decreasing what people have to pay themselves directly for medical care," Levitt told TPM with one caveat: "This does not include premiums that people have to pay."
While most Democratic candidates vying for elections this fall are shunning President Oabma, some are awakening to the reality of a developing ACA. A key race in the US Senates has yielded a mid-term political ad that would have been considered political suicide as recently as six months ago. 

Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) is running in one of the tightest reelection races in the country, facing freshman Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a U.S. Army veteran. So it may come as some surprise that in Pryor’s new ad released Wednesday, he chose to hone in on his support of President Barack Obama’s unpopular healthcare law. 
In the personal new ad, Pryor’s father, David, a former senator himself, talks about his son’s battle with sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in 1996. “When Mark was diagnosed with cancer, we thought we might lose him,” David Pryor says in a voiceover. “But you know what? Mark’s insurance company didn’t want to pay for the treatment that ultimately saved his life.” 
By opening up about the struggle for his own life, Pryor aims to connect with his constituents. “No one should be fighting an insurance company when you’re fighting for your life,” he says in the ad. “That’s why I helped pass a law that prevents insurance companies from canceling your policy if you’re sick or deny coverage from preexisting conditions.” Pryor’s ad does at least three things right. First, he hones in on the most popular aspect of the Affordable Care Act: coverage for those with preexisting conditions, which has support across the aisle. “We all agree that nobody should be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition,” David Ray, a Cotton campaign spokesman, told TIME in an emailed statement.
It appears we can add the ACA to yet another historic failure form the GOP. And, I just cannot help but immediately think of the 2013 US economy. But, there I go again in full digress.

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