2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

Sarah Kliff outlines 7 ACA attack points which died w/a whimper...but leaves out one of the biggest ones!

I owe Sarah Kliff (formerly of the Washington Post, now over at Vox) a lot. She was one of the first mainstream reporters to call attention to this site and my work last fall, and she even wrote up a very nice feature story on me at the end of the enrollment period (and even published it as part of Vox.com's official launch).

As far as I know, Kliff hasn't referenced ACA Signups since the open enrollment period ended, but she's still doing great work on the ACA over at Vox, and today is no exception. She wrote up a nice outline of 7 major anti-ACA attack points and how every one of them have been knocked down, one by one:

1) Healthcare.gov is a disaster!

Yes, it was...but then it was fixed. The GOP seemed to remain stuck in a mid-October mindset all the way into early January, not realizing that botched coding can be fixed or recoded, and was. While they're still working on the back end payment reporting system and other issues, the front end of the site (the most important area for actually enrolling) was working smoothly from around mid-November on.

2) No one will sign up!

Um...wrong. About 8.8 million and counting (although the rate is likely to slow down dramatically).

3) They'll never hit 7 million!

See #2 above.

4) But how many were already insured???

About 43%. And the GOP's point is...?

5) More people will lose coverage than will gain it! (aka "OMG!! 5MM POLICIES CANCELLED!!")

Oh, right; that was their point. Um...wrong. And wrong. And that "5 million cancelled" claim was seriously exaggerated.

Kliff's final 2 points (about 2nd year premiums and the overall impact of the law in terms of getting appointments, etc.) aren't really in my area of expertise (I've posted a lot of state-specific premium rate requests for 2015, but these can be seriously misleading), and I don't want to steal all of her thunder, so I'll leave them out of this post.

However, I'm surprised that she completely forgot to list one of the most important ones:

8) But HOW MANY HAVE PAID??

Again, the answer, based on exact figures provided by many state-run exchanges, percentages provided by various state insurance commissioners and even Congressional testimony given by major insurance company executives including Aetna, WellPoint and Blue Cross Blue Shield, is approximately 90% of exchange QHPs are being paid, even if some of those payments are coming in a few weeks after their original due date.