Charles Gaba's blog

Yesterday I had a lengthy post in which I noted that the claims by certain Republicans/"MAGA" types that the COVID-19 pandemic was limited to "blue" areas and "big cities" (wink, wink) is quickly unraveling...at least here in Michigan.

Today, I've run the numbers and put together similar Red/Blue and Urban/Rural breakouts for another extremely closely-watched swing state: Wisconsin.

For Michigan, I was able to separate out the City of Detroit itself from the rest of Wayne County. I also included the wider "Metro Detroit Area", which consists of both Oakland and Macomb County along with the part of Wayne County outside of Detroit.

I'm a lot less familiar with Wisconsin, and they don't break out Milwaukee separately anyway, so I went with Milwaukee County, Dane County (which includes the 2nd largest city in the state, Madison), and the Rest of Wisconsin. Here's what the breakout of COVID-19 cases has looked like over time. Once again, it's really only relevant after the state reached 100 cases:

NOTE: BEFORE reading below, read my explainer from last November on the Risk Corridor Massacre lawsuit and potential Medical Loss Ratio implications.

OK, got all that? Good.

Well, sure enough, this morning the U.S. Supreme Court issued their ruling, and it wasn't even close:

A big Obamacare decision from SCOTUS this morning: The court rules 8–1 that insurers who lost money under the Risk Corridors program have a right to payment from the government AND damages for unpaid amounts. https://t.co/PjODO35oKe

— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) April 27, 2020

This was an easy case. Only Justice Alito dissented, complaining that the court mandates "a massive bailout for insurance companies that took a calculated risk and lost." Dude really hates the ACA! https://t.co/PjODO35oKe

Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet.

Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

Nationally:

  • 5.44 million tests have been completed in the U.S. (1.6% of the population)
  • 26,500 more Americans tested positive today. 987,000 have tested positive to date (3.0 per thousand)

The U.S. is going to break 1 million positive cases sometime Monday afternoon.

For the past month, I've spent an awful lot of time tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities on a state-by-state level. I'm obviously not the only one doing this; there's literally dozens of other much more respected and capable organizations and websites doing so, and in fact my data originally comes from several of those sources (primarily Worldometers and the COVID Tracking Project).

I have, however, included a few extra data points which some sites haven't in order to add some perspective:

Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet.

Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

Nationally:

  • 5.18 million tests have been completed in the U.S. (1.6% of the population)
  • 35,400 more Americans tested positive today. 960,000 have tested positive to date (2.9 per thousand)

The U.S. is going to break 1 million positive cases sometime Monday.

Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet.

Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

Nationally:

Don't drink or inject bleach, lysol or other disinfectants into your body.

Carry on.

via the WA Healthplanfinder ACA exchange:
Over 16,000 Signed up for Coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder as Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic Hits Washington Households
  • Over 16,000 customers selected a plan for qualified health coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder since March 10, when a special enrollment period was announced in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Additionally, Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) enrollments are increasing.
  • The special enrollment period allows anyone uninsured and eligible to enroll in health coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder to sign up by May 8, 2020.
  • Additional existing special enrollment periods allow people who have experienced a recent loss of income or loss of employer coverage to sign up.

    Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet.

    Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

    Nationally:

    • 4.66 million tests have been completed in the U.S. (1.4% of the population)
    • 31,500 more Americans tested positive today. 880,000 have tested positive to date (2.65 per thousand)
    • Another 2,300 Americans died today. Nearly 50,000 have died to date.
    • The U.S. Case Fatality Rate (CFR) now stands at 5.7%.
    • The U.S. case count has increased 30% over the past week, and the total U.S. death toll has increased by 44%.

    New York:

    I've been making a LOT of fuss lately about how important it is for CMS Administrator Seema Verma to give the green light to an official "Open" COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period (SEP) via the federal ACA exchange (HealthCare.Gov). Last week I projected that if every state were to offer a full 60-day "open" SEP ("open" means that any uninsured U.S. citizen or eligible documented resident could sign up without requiring a Qualifying Life Event), somewhere between 2.5 - 3.3 million Americans would likely enroll during that 2-month period.

    Of that number, I projected that around 1.8 - 2.3 million additional people would likely reside in the 38 states hosted by HealthCare.Gov, with the remainder living in the 12 states which are offering COVID-specific SEPs (although the deadlines in those states vary, and some do require enrollees to jump through at least minimal hoops to enroll).

    On April 14th, I noted that Idaho, which had previously refused to join the twelve other state-based ACA exchanges in launching an "open" COVID-19 specific Special Enrollment Period (i.e., open to any uninsured resident regardless of reason) announced that going forward, they were modifying their regular SEP rules somewhat:

    If You Need Health Insurance, Your Health Idaho is Here to Help

    ...In partnership with the Idaho Department of Insurance and Idaho insurance providers, and in alignment with Governor Little’s initiative to reduce regulations, Your Health Idaho is working to relax the requirements for eligible Idahoans to enroll in coverage.

    Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet.

    Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

    Nationally:

    • 4.47 million tests have been completed in the U.S. (1.35% of the population)
    • 30,000 more Americans tested positive today. 849,000 have tested positive to date (2.6 per thousand)
    • Another 2,300 Americans died today. Over 47,600 have died to date (over 1.4 per thousand).
    • The U.S. Case Fatality Rate (CFR) now stands at 5.6%.
    • The U.S. case count has increased 31% over the past week, and the total U.S. death toll has increased by 46%.

    New York:

    via MNsure, Minnesota's ACA exchange:

    More than 9,400 Minnesotans Enrolled in Private Health Insurance Coverage During MNsure's COVID-19 Emergency Special Enrollment Period

    ST. PAUL, Minn.—Last month, Governor Walz announced a 30-day emergency special enrollment period (SEP) for individuals who were uninsured in the wake of COVID-19. During that time, 9,482 Minnesotans enrolled in private health insurance plans through MNsure. The SEP ran from March 23 through April 21. Additionally, more than 13,700 applied for public health insurance programs during that time period.

    Every Minnesotan deserves access to the health care they need—especially during the unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Tim Walz. “I am happy that we were able to offer the special enrollment period so more than 23,000 uninsured Minnesotans were able to enroll in health coverage. Minnesotans without coverage should keep coming to MNsure to see if they are eligible for other special enrollments or publicly funded health care programs with year-round enrollment like Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare.”

    via Connect for Health Colorado:

    10,000 Coloradans Covered during Emergency Special Enrollment Period So Far; Marketplace Open to Those with Life Changes

    More than 10,000 Coloradans so far have signed up for a health insurance plan through Connect for Health Colorado’s emergency Special Enrollment period, which ends Thursday, April 30, 2020. The Marketplace opened the Special Enrollment period on March 20 in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Uninsured residents have nine days left to enroll for coverage that begins on May 1. 

    “We created this enrollment opportunity to relieve some stress for thousands of families who are trying to figure out their health coverage needs during this time.” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “I encourage residents who are uninsured to sign up before the April 30 deadline.”  

    Since tracking and analyzing data is what I'm best known for...and since I'm mostly stuck sitting in front of the computer all day whether I like it or not these days anyway...I've started my own daily COVID-19 spreadsheet.

    Again, I'm not the one who compiled the data itself--many other teams with far better resources than I have are doing that--but I'm pulling their work together and adding some additional context, such as per capita info by state/territory.

    Nationally:

    • 4.16 million tests have been completed in the U.S.
    • 27,000 more Americans tested positive today. 820,000 have tested positive to date (2.5 per thousand)
    • Another 2,800 Americans died today. Over 45,300 have died to date (1.4 per thousand).
    • The U.S. Case Fatality Rate (CFR) now stands at 5.5%.
    • The U.S. case count has increased 33% over the past week, and the total U.S. death toll has increased by 52%.

    New York:

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