ACA hits 1.5 MILLION: Now broken out by Exchanges/Medicaid!
NOTE: This was originally posted over at Daily Kos. I've since ported it over here for archival purposes.
Thanks to the latest eyebrow-raising numbers out of California, the ObamacareSignups.nettally--including Medicaid expansion--now stands at 1,519,979.
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, EnrollMaven.com, lists the number as only about 39,000. Another, the Advisory Board Company, puts the number at 160,000, but with 404,000 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.
As a result, you can now see that a more accurate breakdown is appx. 410,000 Exchange applications/enrollments and appx. 1.1 million new Medicaid/SCHIP enrollments.
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. If the spreadsheet still isn't loading for you, I've added a direct link to the Google Docs spreadsheet at the top of the site.