Colorado: 23K Medicaid "Woodworkers" thru 2/28, confirmation of ACA outreach success

Hat Tip To: 
xpostfactoid

I said I'd keep the poll for the "woodworker" terminology open until tonight, but until I decide what to do about it I'll be continuing to use that term for consistency.

This article from Kaiser Health News brings solid numbers for Colorado, but also gives other good info about the Medicaid situation. For instance, they give a simple explanation of where the term comes from...

Hundreds of thousands of those people were already eligible and could have signed up even before the Affordable Care Act made it much more generous.

They came “out of the woodwork” to get enrolled, analysts say, thanks to the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and publicity around its new marketplaces.

...then they give the exact number in Colorado...though only through the end of February...

State Medicaid Director Sue Birch said Colorado enrolled 22,784 previously-eligible residents in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) from Oct. 1 — when the state marketplace opened — until Feb. 28. Overall, including people who were eligible because of the expansion, Colorado’s Medicaid rolls grew by 23 percent during that period.

...it also points out the epic heartlessness of the conservative mindset: They're complaining about Medicaid expansion due to the "increased cost to the state" even though these are people who were already qualified for the program even without expansion...

The conservative American Action Forum portrays the woodwork effect as an additional burdenput on states, whether they backed the law or not.

...and finally, a nice confirmation that yes, the "woodworker" enrollees absolutely SHOULD be included as being "due to" the ACA, via the massive outreach/PR campaign as well as the technological improvements and streamlining of the enrollment process:

Birch says she’s “certainly very pleased” that publicity around the ACA resulted in more people who were previously eligible for Medicaid and CHIP getting enrolled in Colorado.

She says the surge in enrollment is the result of more than a year’s worth of work on multiple fronts. The state used a $20 million federal grant to upgrade the state’s old and notoriously clunky Medicaid enrollment software. It then partnered with the state’s food assistance program to help target potential Medicaid and CHIP recipients. That brought in nearly 17,000 new enrollees, 12,000 of whom are adults.