Obamacare enrollment is only slightly behind expectations, following a surge in enrollment that has brought the total number of sign-ups to 3 million.
As of this week, 3 million people have signed up for private coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges, the Health and Human Services Department said today. The figure includes state-run marketplaces as well as the 36 states using federal exchanges through HealthCare.gov.
The figure puts Obamacare enrollment much closer to its initial targets. It’s now effectively about a month behind schedule—despite losing the better part of two months to the technical problems that initially plagued HealthCare.gov.
Before the site’s launch in October, the White House had hoped to hit 3.3 million sign-ups by the end of the year. So, hitting 3 million people about three weeks into January is still technically behind that pace—but not by much.
The initial target was to enroll about 7 million people by the end of the open enrollment period. Although the White House has since disowned that estimate, it’s on pace to get close to that target by the time the enrollment window closes in March.
Enrollment has surged since HealthCare.gov‘s user experience became functional, reassuring White House officials that the site’s troubled launch did not turn people off to the overall concept of exploring their options for health insurance.
Although getting millions of people covered is the broad purpose behind health care reform, the law’s basic survival—at least for this year—depends more on who signs up. The marketplaces need healthy consumers to offset the cost of guaranteeing coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
Young adults—who are presumed to be the healthiest enrollees—made up roughly 25 percent of the population that had signed up for coverage through the end of December. The initial target was closer to 38 percent, but young people were always expected to sign up late in the process, and even 25 to 30 percent is probably enough to keep premiums relatively stable, according to estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
What We're Following See More »
"It is with humility, determination, and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for president," said Hillary Clinton in becoming the first woman to accept a nomination for president from a major party. Clinton gave a wide-ranging address, both criticizing Donald Trump and speaking of what she has done in the past and hopes to do in the future. "He's taken the Republican party a long way, from morning in America to midnight in America," Clinton said of Trump. However, most of her speech focused instead on the work she has done and the work she hopes to do as president. "I will be a president of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. For the struggling, the striving, the successful," she said. "For those who vote for me and for those who don't. For all Americans together."
Supporters of Bernie Sanders promised to walk out, turn their backs, or disrupt Hillary Clinton's speech tonight, and they made good immediately, with an outburst almost as soon as Clinton began her speech. But her supporters, armed with a handy counter-chant cheat sheet distributed by the campaign, immediately began drowning them out with chants of "Hillary, Hillary!"
If a new poll is to be believed, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. A new Suffolk University survey shows her ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-41%. In a four-way race, she maintains her nine-point lead, 46%-37%. "Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, going back to Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992. Yet it is a rust belt state that could be in play, as indicated by recent general-election polling showing a close race."
Wednesday was the third night in a row that the Democratic convention enjoyed a ratings win over the Republican convention last week. Which might have prompted a fundraising email from Donald Trump exhorting supporters not to watch. "Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don't watch Hillary's DNC speech tonight," the email read. "Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks."
Catholics who attend mass at least weekly have increased their support of the Democratic nominee by 22 points, relative to 2012, when devout Catholics backed Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, a Morning Consult poll shows that those voters with advanced degrees prefer Hillary Clinton, 51%-34%. Which, we suppose, makes the ideal Clinton voter a Catholic with a PhD in divinity.