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The ACA and the Uninsured

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Just what the Republican Party has always wanted:

The uninsured rate in Minnesota has fallen by more than 40 percent since the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion started, a new report from the State Health Access Data Assistance Center shows.

The analysis appears to be the first assessment of how a state’s uninsured rate has changed since the insurance expansion began in October. It shows that, between September 2013 and May 2014, the number of uninsured Minnesotans fell from 445,000 to about 264,500.

Most of the increase in coverage was through public programs, rather than people gaining private insurance through the exchange. Enrollment in two of Minnesota’s largest public coverage programs, Medical Assistance (the state Medicaid program) and MinnesotaCare (a subsidy program for low-income residents), grew by 155,000 during the open enrollment period.

[…]

Gallup data suggests that, nationally, the uninsured rate has fallen by just about 22 percent since the insurance expansion began, from 17.1 percent during the last quarter of 2013 to 13.4 percent in the second quarter of 2014.

If only instead of this massive bailout of the health insurance industry we had continued to hold these people hostage.  We’d have passed the Nationalize the Health Insurance Industry And I Want My Pony RIGHT NOW Act of Never in no time; why, the Republican Party is even more reasonable now that it was under Majority Leader John Chafee.

 

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  • Aimai

    This post is a veritable worm orouborous of snark.

    • junker

      I’m getting my flame retardant clothes out for the comments on this one.

      • Fake Irishman

        make sure to bring some marshmallows…

        • Karen

          I’ve got chocolate, graham crackers, and crushed peanuts because crushed peanuts are awesome on s’mores. (If you’re allergic I’ll put the peanuts up safely. S’mores are quite delicious enough, even if they are improved by crushed peanuts.)

    • Uncle Ebeneezer

      To the dismay of some on the left.

      • cpinva

        but Obama DIDN’T.EVEN.TRY!

      • Orpho

        They just need their irredeemably opaque invisible hand to clear things up.

    • R. Porrofatto

      B..b..but the BULLY PULPIT! It’s got a kazillion watt amplifier pushing titanium diaphragm high frequency compression drivers and 8.9 Richter Scale super subwoofers! Nobody can resist its power!

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        I feel just like the guy slouched in the recliner with the sound blowing his hair back in the old maxell ads

      • Toberdog

        And if you can’t afford it, fcking finance it!

  • Scotius

    I’d love someone to make some side by side comparison charts for both job participations and medically uninsured rates for Minnesota and Wisconsin in time for November’s election.

  • joe from Lowell

    I remember when the phrase “the uninsured” appeared on the Daily Kos rec list multiple times a day, every day, from its founding through early 2009.

    And then, bizarrely, among a certain segment of the population, insuring the uninsured became something that wasn’t really a liberal objective at all.

    • Bender

      “I was a lifelong Democrat until BENGAZI!!1! but now I’m enraged by Obummercare”

    • Sly

      Lewis Tappan: This news – well of course it’s bad news – but the truth is they may be more valuable to our struggle in death than in life. Martyrdom, Mr. Joadson. From the dawn of Christianity we have seen no stronger power for change. You know it’s true.

      Theodore Joadson: What is true, Mr. Tappan – and believe me when I tell you that I have seen this – is that there are some men whose hatred of slavery is stronger than any, except for the slave himself.

    • Anonymous

      same thing happened with universal healthcare

      • joe from Lowell

        I seem to have missed the people who denounced universal health care as worthless.

        • Obamacare (not the “ACA”– if you want to use an acronym it is the “PPACA”) is not anywhere near universal health care (and it wouldn’t be even if the states had all gone forward with Medicaid expansion).

          • Malaclypse

            not the “ACA”– if you want to use an acronym it is the “PPACA”

            If we are going to be pointlessly pedantic, then I demand you recognize the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which amended the PPACA, as part of the legislation being discussed.

            • Gohmert

              Do you have anything with an M? I would really
              like to turn the PPACA and HCERA into MECHA.

              • MAJeff

                Just pray, Louie. Talking to yourself is more productive than anything else you’ve done in your career.

    • Jordan

      Wait, really? I’m not a daily kos afficiondo at all. But I kinda had good feelings for them, maybe?

      So, I mean, really?

      • There have been many pro aca diaries including a very popular daily foundup of signups and there implicatiins as well as many describing the horrors of the medicaid gap. Of course there are some truly crazy people who post their obama hate on these diaries. Jie is right that “nyceve” who was one of the fiercest attackers of the aca seems to have gone silent. Its a mixed bag. They badly need a diary series like Richard mayhews at kos.

        • nyceve was, if memory serves, a single=payer hardliner. So my (serious) disagreement with her is about tactics, not goals.

          • I agree with her on single payer as avgoal but she was a pretty die hard attacker of everyone elses motives and she never accepted that there were goid parts to the aca. However i do remember some late diaries where she seemed surprised and distressed by the sheer spiteful nihilism of some of her readers and shevtried to dial it back a bit.

            • Yeah, that’s how I remember that years-long conversation.

            • joe from Lowell

              However i do remember some late diaries where she seemed surprised and distressed by the sheer spiteful nihilism of some of her readers and shevtried to dial it back a bit.

              Sounds like Cantor.

      • joe from Lowell

        Jordan,

        I meant the user diaries, not the front page.

    • Some people don’t think handing someone a product labeled “insurance” but which doesn’t pay for all their health care costs is a significant policy victory.

      • Craigo

        Much better to leave them with a nothing that pays for none of their health care costs.

  • Denverite

    In brightest day, in blackest night,
    No evil insurance company shall escape my sight.
    Let those who worship evil non-single-payer health care’s might,
    Beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!!!

    • cpinva

      i know someone who has a numbered, hand cast, hal Jordan/green lantern statue, which he’ll be happy to sell to you, for a mere $95.00.

      act now, it’s going fast!

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    I wanted my pony YESTERDAY, dammit

    both sides are the same, y’know

  • Funkhauser

    There’s a visiting position at the Heritage Foundation advertised on APSA’s eJobs. Perhaps you could apply with the premise that you’ll write about how its grand policy vision of Romneycare nationwide has been accomplished.

    • witless chum

      This is the best snark.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    It’s putting free clinics out of business – exactly as Rush Limbaugh wanted.

  • Thought Police

    Most of the increase in coverage was through public programs, rather than people gaining private insurance through the exchange.

    I suppose the percentage of ‘uninsured’ could be brought to near zero, but at what cost? This article doesn’t mention any of that.

    Is this a victory at any cost? Doesn’t matter?

    • Steve LaBonne

      Yeah, I haven’t had a raise or pancakes since 1872 and these lazy moochers are getting a free colonoscopy any time they want one.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      saves you money in the long run as subsidized insurance is less of a financial burden than the increase in costs you and i pay when the hospitals write off unpayable bills

    • Murc

      Is this a victory at any cost? Doesn’t matter?

      The provision of healthcare? Yes, it is.

      I am prepared to proudly and unapologetically defend the notions that the resources exist to provide everyone on the planet with quality healthcare, and that this should be a basic human right.

      • pseudonymous in nc

        Yep. If you’re going to whine about it not being writted down in the holy blessed Constitution, then neither was anaesthesia.

      • Darling Erik

        Yes, it is.

        Then no price is too high. With that, world peace could be achieved simply by nuking most of the middle east.

        What a simpleton way to think!

        • Malaclypse

          Or Texas. Nuking Texas would work.

          • Darling Erik

            Big, big state. Not enough bombs.

            Bomb New York

    • Dog Police
    • Origami Isopod, Commisar [sic] of Ideology for the Bolsheviks

      Jennie doesn’t care if people die from easily treatable ailments, so long as he doesn’t have to pay any meals tax at IHOP.

  • somethingblue

    This needs more snark about Ralph Nader and President Romney, to make it even more trollalicious.

    Because, really, it is powerless leftists, and not Republicans, who are denying Americans health insurance. Why, we would have universal healthcare RIGHT NOW, if it hadn’t been filibustered by that woman who runs the Streaming or Concurrence or whatever it is! Matt Stoller is making Wisconsinites die in the gutter! Why will Governor Strether not accept the medicare expansion??? WHY???? WHY?????

    • sparks

      Governor Strether, nice touch of the lysergic surreal.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Because, really, it is powerless leftists, and not Republicans, who are denying Americans health insurance.

      Well, certainly, nobody around here has ever criticized Republicans for this.

    • joe from Lowell

      Because, really, it is powerless leftists, and not Republicans, who are denying Americans health insurance.

      It’s true; you failed.

      You tried to kill the bill, and you failed.

      And because you failed, millions of people get to go to the doctor.

      • Scott Lemieux

        It’s true; you failed.

        You tried to kill the bill, and you failed.

        And because you failed, millions of people get to go to the doctor.

        And despite which, you have continued to insist that progressives won nothing during the Obama administration.

        • liberalrob

          And you apparently continue to believe that small victories are really huge triumphs, and that those “huge triumphs” therefore outweigh the huge disappointments.

          Whatever. The world spins merrily on, and climate change is still the most important issue facing humanity. The success or failure of the ACA is irrelevant in comparison.

          • Scott Lemieux

            small victories

            I’m going to assume you’re not at risk of being Medicaid-eligible.

            and climate change is still the most important issue facing humanity.

            If only Obama would do something about that!

            The success or failure of the ACA is irrelevant in comparison.

            Yes, if we cannot solve every problem we shouldn’t bother trying to solve any problem. Very progressive!

            • liberalrob

              Even people who should be Medicaid-eligible aren’t Medicaid-eligible in the states where the Medicaid expansion is being rejected. As for myself, I’m not currently; but like many I’m just one serious illness away from it.

              What has Obama done about climate change prior to 2014? All I’m aware of is a bunch of talk and some piddling pilot projects that expired or failed. And even now, I think his new EPA rules are still in the “proposed” stage.

              Well, given that I don’t agree that the ACA is a good “solution”…but really, if we don’t do something fairly drastic about climate change pretty soon now, it’s not going to matter how many people get Medicaid. In fact maybe that’s the Republican plan: stall until climate change kills off enough poor and weak people that the private-sector-insured healthcare system becomes sustainable again.

  • RobertL

    Takers!

  • Kurzleg
    • joe from Lowell

      From that article:

      Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, said the drop in the number of uninsured Minnesotans is welcome but that a key question remains: How big an impact did MNsure make in helping people buy insurance from private carriers?

      “If it’s mostly people enrolled in public programs, we could have done that without spending $170 million on a website,” she said, adding that money could have gone toward improving the existing county-based infrastructure for public insurance programs. “Let’s not take a victory lap on MNsure until we start counting what MNsure did and then let’s find out if it’s worth it.”

      So now we have Republicans singing the praises of government-run, single-payer health care programs to cover the uninsured.

      But remember, kids, it’s extremist rhetoric, and not tangible success, that “moves the Overton Window.”

      • Randy

        The private sector must be appeased, at all costs. It’s not really a success if the gummint did it.

        Also, both sides say dumb things, and there are extremists in both parties. How about that one guy who said that thing a few years ago?

      • Chilly

        To be fair, Joe, she’s a Minnesota Republican. The GOP in the state legislature here still has some vestigial sanity organs intact.

  • Linnaeus

    What’s next?

  • liberalrob

    It’s great that more people are insured and getting health care.

    The health care system is still broken. Yay, we now have more people than ever participating in a broken, overpriced system. Sweet victory! Oh, and those of you who live under retrograde Republican state governance, like I do in Texas, too bad! Maybe you should just move somewhere else! Otherwise, you have only yourselves to blame. Should have been out there canvassing more!

    Also, 95% is not 100%. Math tells me that 264000 is greater than zero. So while it’s great news that the national uninsured rate has dropped 4 points, too many Americans still don’t have health insurance under the wonderful success of the ACA.

    • wjts

      So while it’s great news that the national uninsured rate has dropped 4 points, too many Americans still don’t have health insurance under the wonderful success of the ACA.

      AND my pony’s the wrong color!

      • liberalrob

        Even worse, it was supposed to be a unicorn.

    • Malaclypse

      Otherwise, you have only yourselves to blame.

      Show me one person here that has blamed the uninsured for any state’s lack of Medicaid expansion.

    • Darling Erik

      Maybe you should just move somewhere else!

      Or…provided for your own insurance.

      This is the path that I have chosen. It’s been working for me.

      • Malaclypse

        Obviously, Jennie doesn’t count as a person for purposes of my above comment.

        • Hogan

          Or for any other purpose, really.

    • Scott Lemieux

      h, and those of you who live under retrograde Republican state governance, like I do in Texas, too bad!

      I blame Obama for inventing the concept of judicial review.

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