Update: ACA Signups = 903,000...or 116,000...or 36,000.


Time: D H M S

NOTE: This was originally posted over at Daily Kos. I've since ported it over here for archival purposes.

Thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of ArcticStones in particular (along with help from the other state-watchers listed below the fold), the ObamacareSignups.net numbers are starting to jump up again.

As a result, as of today, the tally now stands at 903,190.

However, it's important to understand that sources and methodology for this sort of tracking is going to vary widely, depending on what exactly it is that you're trying to track (as well as the source, of course). In my case, yes, I'm including Medicaid expansion signups, because ultimately, what matters is people actually getting decent medical care at an affordable price.

In addition, I've chosen to include completed applications for healthcare plans, even if they haven't actually been enrolled yet. You could certainly argue that I shouldn't count it, but frankly, so many of the articles/sources I'm using fail to make that distinction either that I grew tired of trying to separate the wheat from the chaff.

As a result, you're going to see a VERY wide range of estimates--one very strict (and openly anti-ACA) tracking source, EnrollMaven.com, lists the number as only about 36,000. Another, the Advisory Board Company, puts the number at 116,000, but with 365,000 applications.

Meanwhile, the HHS Dept. itself has only said that they've received a total of more than 700,000 applications to date, with about half of these coming from the State Exchanges and half from the ill-fated HC.gov site--but NOT including Medicaid or SCHIP expansion.

If you add those in, you could conceivably tally the number at over 1 Million.

Of course, there's other factors to consider--someone creating an account is not the same as someone starting an application, which is not the same as someone completing an application, which is different from having their application approved, which is not the same as signing up for an actual policy, which is not the same as actually paying for their policy.

On the flip side, a lot of the sources are failing to distinguish between households and people. Given that the average size of a household in the U.S. is 2.6 people, that means that some of the numbers reported could conceivably be more than twice as high.

The question of whether to include Medicaid/SCHIP numbers is important from an economic viability standpoint (ie, the HHS Dept. supposedly needs 7 million people to actually sign up for paid healthcare policies via the exchanges to keep the program afloat...with a good 1/3 of those being young/healthy types). However, for my purposes, I'm looking at this from a human perspective, namely: Prior to the ACA, there were about 50 million people in the country without healthcare coverage. How many people who weren't previously covered are now thanks to the ACA?

So, from that perspective, including Medicaid/SCHIP does make sense, and I'll continue to do so for the time being.