Roughly 1.1 million to 1.8 million Americans enrolled in Medicaid because of Obamacare, a health care consulting firm finds.
Avalere Health analyzed the 2013 Obamacare enrollment reports, including those from the Health and Human Services Department, which has said that more than 6.3 million individuals were deemed eligible for Medicaid. That number includes individuals who were already enrolled in Medicaid and would continue to stay on it, because the exchange redetermined eligibility.
Avalere Health compared enrollment in October through December with enrollment in summer 2013 to account for the number of people who would have signed up for Medicaid regardless of the Affordable Care Act, and for regular churn in the program.
The numbers fall far short of the 8 million individuals expected to enroll in Medicaid in 2014, according to updated estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. Avalere Health estimates only 5 million Americans will join the program this year, and its model includes those states that decided not to expand Medicaid.
The majority of the new enrollees come from the 26 states including the District of Columbia that opted to go along with the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of the Medicaid program to individuals with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line. Avalere Health estimates that expansion states represent some three-fourths of all new sign-ups.
“There are a host of public-welfare reasons as to why you want to get people into Medicaid,” said Caroline Pearson, vice president at Avalere Health. “Medicaid is an important safety net for the low-income.”
But the administration has a ways to go in its outreach efforts to get the Medicaid-eligible population covered. Bad press surrounding the launch of the federal exchange website, HealthCare.gov, is likely a contributing factor to the low enrollment totals, Pearson said, as well as sustained issues with the transfer of Medicaid applications from HealthCare.gov to state agencies.
“[Enrollment] definitely could speed up because now coverage is available,” she said. “We know that people tend to not enroll in their coverage until it’s actually available.”
What We're Following See More »
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this afternoon that the Senate on Wednesday will take up an override of President Obama's veto of legislation that would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia. "The vote is expected garner the two-thirds majority necessary to override the veto."
"Donald Trump is a racist," announced Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid from the Senate floor this afternoon. Reid said all of us are occasionally politically incorrect, but "I don't know of anyone that when that happens doesn't acknowledge it and, if necessary, apologize quickly." But Trump, he added, says things with "full intent to demean and to denigrate." Reid argued that the media isn't holding Trump to account, and should explicitly call him a racist.
After keeping the information private for most of the lead-up to the debate on Monday, it has been revealed that longtime Clinton aide Philippe Reines has been playing the role of Donald Trump in her debate prep. Reines knows Clinton better than most, able to identify both her strengths and weaknesses, and his selection for a sparring partner shows that Clinton is preparing for the brash and confrontational Donald Trump many have come to expect.