The White House has succeeded in its quest to increase the number of Americans who have health insurance, and the newly insured are younger, lower-paid, and more likely to be Democrats, according to a new set of surveys released Wednesday.
The nation’s uninsured rate declined by 3 percent during the Affordable Care Act’s open-enrollment period — meaning that as of March an estimated 7.26 million people are insured who weren’t in September 2013, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
“It is a safe assumption at this point to attribute at least most of that decline to the ACA,” wrote Dan Witters, research director of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, in an email.
A deeper dive into the newly insured population shows they’re not any sicker than the general population. A second Gallup survey, conducted among more than 20,000 adults every night since March 4, also shows that the newly insured are among the lowest wage earners in the nation and that they skew younger. Those findings are supported by similar research released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.
Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport said that although a higher proportion of the newly insured are younger when compared with the general population, that’s not the case for those who got their insurance on the exchange, and it could be because young people are getting coverage by opting into employer plans or staying on mom and dad’s health insurance. The exchange population itself is made up of a higher proportion of older individuals, according to the survey.
All major racial and ethnic groups made double-digit gains in the number of people who had health insurance between the September and March polls, although there wasn’t specific data on exchange participation by race or ethnicity. The Health and Human Services Department also has not made that information available.
Age, race, and income aren’t the only factors that define the newly insured, however.
“Politics plays a role in everything relating to the Affordable Care Act,” Newport said. “It is not surprising to me at any rate that one’s political orientation affects one’s behavior in relation to insurance.”
Republicans made up only 24 percent of the newly insured, as opposed to Democrats, who made up 54 percent. Newly insured Republicans were less likely to have purchased their coverage on the exchange, Gallup found, as opposed to Democrats, who were more likely to have done so.
However, Republicans’ attitudes about the effect of the health care law on their families shifted, Gallup found. At the end of February, 73 percent said the health law would make things worse for their family. That dropped about 20 percent by the beginning of April — shifting into the category that the health law would “not make much difference” on their personal fortune.
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”