2.24 million young people sign up for Obamacare…SC could have done so much better

Two good stories below show not only the success of Obamacare but how much better off reducing the uninsured in South Carolina we could have been had we not had such obstinate, partisan state leadership.  Happy Easter and Happy Passover.

Charleston Post and Courier
April 16,2014

Gallup: Rate of uninsured declined more in pro-Obamacare states

By Lauren Sausser

South Carolina, and other states that aren’t embracing Obamacare, have seen a smaller reduction in the percentage of uninsured residents than states that have expanded Medicaid and set up their own insurance exchanges, a new Gallup survey found.

South Carolina is among 24 states that decided against expanding its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. Leaders here also chose not to create a state-based health insurance exchange, instead opting into the federal marketplace.

“The uninsured rate, on average, declined 2.5 percentage points in the 21 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have implemented both of these measures, compared with a 0.8-point drop across the 29 states that have taken only one or neither of these actions,” a Gallup report on the new survey explained. The results were released Wednesday.

Nearly 19 percent of adults in South Carolina were uninsured in 2013, according to the survey.

Frank Knapp, president of the S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce, said the results aren’t surprising.

“States that expanded Medicaid – of course they’re doing much better,” said Knapp, who supports the Affordable Care Act. “They have public officials saying good things and they’re promoting it . Advertising and marketing works. We’ve seen none of it except negative marketing and negative advertising here.”

Gov. Nikki Haley and S.C. Medicaid Director Tony Keck have repeatedly defended their decisions to reject Medicaid expansion and to opt out of building a state-based insurance exchange.

The S.C. Department of Insurance reported last week that nearly 100,000 residents in this state signed up for health insurance through the federal exchange during the first Affordable Care Act open enrollment period. It is not clear how many of those shoppers were previously uninsured.

Across the country, more than 7 million people have signed up for health insurance under Obamacare. Enrollment for 2015 health insurance plans begins in November. Enrollment for 2014 plans is now closed.



Enrollments Exceed Obama’s Target for Health Care Act


Publish Date April 17, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Obama announced Thursday that eight million people have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, including what the White House said were a sufficient number of young, healthy adults, a critical milestone that might counter election-year attacks by Republicans on the law’s success and viability.

The total number of enrollees exceeds by a million the target set by the administration for people to buy insurance through government-run health care exchanges. In particular, the number of young people signing up appears to have surged during the final weeks of enrollment.

“This thing is working,” Mr. Obama told reporters in the White House briefing room, in what amounted to a second victory lap after he announced two weeks ago that 7.1 million people had signed up for insurance during an initial enrollment period. “The Affordable Care Act is covering more people at less cost than most people would have predicted a few months ago.”

Although more young people signed up for health insurance, for example, the number remained below the level that some analysts believe is optimal for keeping premiums low in the insurance marketplaces. The administration said Thursday that 28 percent of those who bought policies were between the ages of 18 and 34, but some analysts said the optimum level would be 40 percent.

“In an ideal world, you’d want to get as close to that as possible,” said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “But what is important is what the insurance companies expected, and this is what they expected.”

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