State Sign-Ups Vary
FINAL OBAMACARE REPORT:.The biggest headlines in yesterday's enrollment report were things we already knew: About 8 million people nationwide picked plans through Obamacare's exchanges, and about 28 percent of them were young adults. That's a political success story for the White House, certainly, but on-the-ground success is really a question of state-by-state enrollment -- and there, the results varied wildly. Florida -- a pivotal state with a lot of uninsured residents -- had twice as many sign-ups as HHS initially projected, while a separate group of about 20 states fell short of HHS' goals. How each state shook out will be the key to Obamacare's next big challenge: 2015 premiums.
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FULL OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT REPORT RELEASED: The total number of people who signed up for plans on the exchange is 8,019,763. Some 28 percent of those are ages 18-34. And 54 percent are female. Nearly 63 percent of those who reported their race and ethnicity are white.
- Where Obamacare is strongest and where it is falling short: a look at the state-by-state numbers. (Sam Baker and Sophie Novack, National Journal)
- Why Hispanics didn't get Obamacare: 10.7 percent of exchange applicants were Latino, according to HHS, but Latinos make up 1 in 4 of the nation's uninsured. (Clara Ritger, National Journal)
- Late surge in sign-ups in hold-out states: the number of people enrolling in plans doubled in some of the states that didn't run their own marketplaces (Sandhya Somashekhar and Dan Keating, Washington Post)
- 5 things the Obamacare enrollment reports don't tell us. (Jeffrey Young, Huffington Post)
- What marketplace enrollment numbers may mean for next year's premiums (Noam Levey, Los Angeles Times)
- Read the full enrollment report here and the state-level addendum here.
- Read the full Medicaid enrollment report here.
SOME STATES SPENT HUNDREDS TO SIGN UP EACH OBAMACARE ENROLLEE: State-based exchanges spent far more to help sign up each consumer than states in the federal marketplace. (Sophie Novack, National Journal)
OBAMA HOSTS OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT PARTY: Champagne, but no selfies, for those who helped 8 million enroll in the Affordable Care Act. (Zeke J. Miller, TIME)
WHY DEMOCRATS SHOULDN'T BE CELEBRATING: The Affordable Care Act's enrollment numbers mean less about the midterms than Democrats think. "Things still look pretty awful for the party." (Charlie Cook, National Journal)
VIRGINIA GOVERNOR EXPLORES WHETHER HE CAN EXPAND MEDICAID COVERAGE WITHOUT LEGISLATURE'S OKAY: Gov. Terry McAuliffe campaigned on expanding Medicaid and is looking to stop the budget stalemate and avert a potential government shutdown over the issue. (Laura Vozzella, Washington Post)
CALIFORNIA MEDICAID APPLICATION BACKLOG REACHES 900,000: The state's backlog of unprocessed applications for Medi-Cal grew by 100,000 in April, as residents continued to apply and computer problems persisted. (Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times)
HOW DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR WILL TALK ABOUT OBAMACARE: Medicaid expansion consistently polls well and is the only part of the health law truly left up to the governors to implement. (Karyn Bruggeman, National Journal)
HHS EXPECTED TO LIFT BLANKET MEDICARE BAN ON SEX-REASSIGNMENT SURGERY SOON: "Because Medicare guides many insurance industry decisions, eliminating the blanket ban on the procedure could have significant consequences in the private health insurance market for the transgender community, transgender rights advocates say." (Evan McMorris-Santoro, BuzzFeed)
Surveys and Research
SURVEY: DOCTORS THINK PEERS PRESCRIBE UNNECESSARY CARE: "Three out of four physicians believe that fellow doctors prescribe an unnecessary test or procedure at least once a week, a survey released Thursday finds. The most frequent reasons that physicians order extraneous—and costly—medical care are fears of being sued, impulses to be extra careful and desires to reassure their own assessments of the patient, the survey said." (Jordan Rau, Kaiser Health News)
MANY IVY LEAGUE KIDS DON'T THINK TAKING ADHD DRUGS IS CHEATING: "About one in five students at an Ivy League college said they've used a prescription ADHD drug while studying, and a third of the college students did not think that qualified as cheating, according to new research." (Alexandra Sifferlin, TIME)
THE PART OF YOUR BRAIN THAT MADE YOU EAT THAT DOUGHNUT: There's a battle going on in your brain for dominance between the nucleus accumbens and the inferior frontal gyrus. (Jeffrey Kluger, TIME)
E-CIGARETTE MAKERS GOING AFTER YOUTH, REPORT FINDS: "E-cigarette makers spent $39 million on ads from June through November 2013, much of it on programming targeting youth, the anti-tobacco organization Legacy found." (Maggie Fox, NBC News)
CDC: HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS DIE UNNECESSARILY EVERY YEAR: If all Americans had equal access to the best preventive care currently available somewhere in the country, roughly 20% to 40% of premature deaths from the five leading causes of death could be avoided, CDC researchers calculated. (Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times)
CONSIDERATIONS AND DEADLINES IN CHANGES TO ACA MARKETPLACE MODEL: "To transition from a federally run to a state-based or state-partnership marketplace, states must meet key deadlines this spring and establishment grants cannot be awarded after January 1, 2015. Conversely, states choosing to relinquish marketplace operation to the federal government must notify HHS at least 12 months in advance." (Sarah Dash and Amy Thomas, Commonwealth Fund)
JOBS REPORT: With health spending on the rise, today's the day to see how that pans out in jobs across the health care sector.
THE CHALLENGE OF INTEGRATING BEHAVIORAL HEALTH AND PRIMARY CARE: Local and regional mental health officials gather at 12:15 p.m. with the Alliance for Health Reform for a briefing on the challenges of mental health care.