ACA breaks 970,000: Now broken out by Exchanges/Medicaid!!


Time: D H M S

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

As of today, the tally now stands at 974,539.

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.

One very strict (and openly anti-ACA) tracking source,, lists the number as only about 36,000. Another, the Advisory Board Company, puts the number at 116,000, but with 365,000 applications.

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?

THEREFORE, due to the extreme influence of Medicaid signups on both this number as well as the financial health of the Exchange program, starting with Week 5, I'm keeping Medicaid numbers included BUT have decided to start breaking them out separately as best as I can.

The two biggest exceptions to this are California and New York, which have total applications amounting to nearly 380,000 between them...but neither of which has broken these out between the Exchanges and Medicaid.

Also, some people have been having problems getting the spreadsheet to load properly; I've changed the iFrame code, which should have fixed this issue.