Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Good News About The Obamacare Numbers

Greg Sargent points out that while the first month of Obamacare's web site rollout has been ugly, there's actually very good news in the numbers that the Obama administration has provided.

The enrollment numbers are in, and as expected, they are well short of projections. Around 106,000 enrolled in new plans during October — with approximately 27,000 coming from states where the federal government is running the exchange (with its extensive problems), and another 79,000 coming through the state exchanges. Republicans are gleefully pointing to the numbers as proof Obamacare needs to be scrapped entirely. 
That confirms two things we’ve long known to be true: the website is a disaster, and short term enrollment figures are a serious political problem for the White House and Democrats. But to Larry Levitt, a vice president at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, another very telling number is this one: over 975,000 have been determined eligible for a marketplace but haven’t yet chosen a plan
“That’s one of the most telling numbers — a million people have been determined eligible,” Levitt tells me. “That means if the website had been working well, and a million people had gotten to the end of the process, we’d be looking at a very different trajectory now. We heard about the surge in traffic when went live. This suggests there is in fact a lot of interest.”

That means that once the website is ready to go, the interest in signing up is there.  The website just has to have the capability of handling the demand.  The big question is how soon.  The better news: there are also hundreds of thousands of people who have discovered they are eligible for Medicaid under state expansions.

Meanwhile, the 100,000 number is getting a lot of attention, but the report also finds nearly 400,000 were determined eligible for Medicaid. “In total that’s over 500,000 people who signed up for insurance in the midst of a tumultuous launch,” Levitt says. “People make a distinction between the marketplace and Medicaid, but those are both elements of the Affordable Care Act — both are mechanisms to get people insured.” 
In one sense what we’re really seeing in these numbers is the first concrete representation of what the de facto GOP health care plan — repeal Obamacare and replace it with nothing, since there’s no GOP consensus on a replacement – looks like. Presuming many of the 106,000 do pay in the end, GOP repeal would entail taking health coverage away from hundreds of thousands of people.

So now, no matter how much the tea party knuckleheads are screaming for it, full repeal will never happen.  I wish Greg Sargent would sit Ezra Klein down and explain that to him, because Klein has been pissing himself for a month now, and it's gotten to the point where he needs a good slap to the face over his DOOOOOOOOOOOOM crying.

There's good news, but the Village doesn't care.  It's a numbers game to them, rather than the the story of the hundreds of thousands and eventually millions of people this law will help.

Orange Julius, In The Observatory, With The Candlestick

And the chalk outline of immigration reform is on the floor.

House Speaker John Boehner says he will not allow any House-passed immigration legislation to be blended with the Senate’s sweeping reform bill, further quashing the chances of comprehensive immigration reform legislation being signed into law anytime soon.

We have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill,” Boehner told reporters Wednesday. 

As Greg Sargent remarks, that's pretty much the ball game for immigration reform getting passed:

The point here is this. The House GOP leadership will never hold a vote on any comprehensive reform package that includes legalization or citizenship. So the only way forward is if House Republicans pass piecemeal provisions — border security measures, plus some sort of legalization proposal for the 11 million, or barring that, the Kids Act (which gives citizenship only to the DREAMers). That would be a route to comprehensive reform if it provided a way to get to conference.

Boehner doesn’t want anything the House passes to be seen as a vehicle for going to conference, because conservatives will revolt. But here is the rub: House Republicans, on their own, probably can’t pass anything that addresses the 11 million — and may not even be able to pass the KIDS Act — if it is seen as a vehicle for going to conference, since conservatives would resist at all costs. So Democrats would be needed to pass any such proposals. But Democrats will only vote for such proposals with an assurance that we would then go to conference. And so, by ruling out conference, Boehner may have just closed off the last remaining route to getting reform done.

There has been a lot of talk lately about how the GOP establishment is going to wage war on the hard-liners inside the GOP that are forcing unelectable candidates and deeply unpopular positions on the party. Immigration reform, however, is a clear cut case where this vow isn’t mattering in the slightest.

It'll matter to them when it costs then elections, and not a moment before.  That's the only thing that will make them listen.

Projection Man

You know at this point how utterly terrified Republicans are of having to face voters over killing immigration, cutting food stamps, nuking job legislation and shutting down the government and costing the country $24 billion, when jokers like Krauthammer are solemnly intoning that the Obamacare website means "the end of liberalism" in America.

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer sees “the collapse of American liberalism” in sight, in no small part because of the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

“We have not just Obamacare unraveling, not just the Obama administration unraveling, not just the Democratic majority of the Senate [unraveling], but we could be looking at the collapse of American liberalism,” Krauthammer told Bill O’Reilly Tuesday. “Obamacare is the big thing for them. The biggest in a hundred years.”

Krauthammer addressed tensions and tactical disagreements within the Republican Party — particularly related to the government shutdown in October — and said he believes this is an important opportunity for conservatives to unite.

“This is a moment where we have to be calm. We have to understand what holds us together on the right. We have to watch and explain why the failure of the left is happening. And if we do that, we will win,” he said.

The problem of course is what holds the wingers together on the right is a blinding, irrational hatred of Barack Obama and anyone who supports him.  They've got no hope, just their wars on women, immigrants, minorities, LGBTQ, science, and reality itself.

Demographics are destiny, and the GOP is destined for the scrapheap.


Related Posts with Thumbnails