Thursday, February 12, 2015

ACA Signups the South! (updated)

From Sarah Ferris at The Hill:
Signups for ObamaCare are surging in southern states, with increases of nearly 100 percent in some states compared to last year, federal health officials said Wednesday.

Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Mississippi have each seen 80 percent more signups compared to last year, Deputy Administrator Andy Slavitt said...

“Real simply, I think word is spreading. I think word of mouth is spreading really positively as neighbors tell neighbors how easy it's been to get coverage this year,” Slavitt told reporters in a briefing Wednesday.
For example, Ferris reports that over 1 million people have signed up in Texas! And that is despite their rejection of Medicaid expansion.

We don't know what the Supreme Court is going to decide on the case of King v Burwell this summer. But what we can surmise is that most of those 1 million Texans are taking advantage of federal subsidies offered on their federally run exchange. I'd also guess that most of them are not the kind of political junkies who pay attention to the partisan wrangling over Obamacare. But they sure as hell are going to be pissed off if they lose their insurance and/or subsidies.

We already know how Justices Scalia and Thomas are likely to vote. But you have to wonder if Kennedy and Roberts are paying attention to this surge - and what it signals.

UPDATE: Ruh-Roh. As BooMan points out, former TX Governor Perry is definitely NOT going to be happy about this!
“Texas has been criticized for having a large number of uninsured,” he said, “but that’s what Texans wanted."


  1. There's a good article in Mother Jones about Justice Roberts siding with business and the US. Chamber of Commerce in his decisions in the past. Big Hospitals and the Chamber of Commerce have filed briefs supporting keeping the subsidies. That makes me hopeful it will turn out well.

    1. That IS the issue - what will it do to doctors and hospitals who would be seriously harmed by provision of uncompensated care. Already less urban hospitals are closing, and that harms even the rich. You're out there on that duck hunt? Well don't pull a Cheney and shoot someone because the nearest hospital may be hours away. Get a cardio event on the golf course? Sorry - hospital nearest is now closed for lack of funds. If the SCOTUS reactionaries don't care about human well being for the majority, they might clearly listen to how much a bad decision will impact their buddies.

  2. Kennedy hates safety net programs. He's really a libertarian, which is why, as a true libertarian, he is in support of LGBT rights. There are some other compelling arguments that he appears to have been in favor of in the past: the notion that the law MEANT to exclude Federal exchanges from subsidies as some sort of coercion; but the fact that this was kept a secret from the states is the issue. Kennedy has supported a view that states must be given ample notice of any such action by the Feds, which was completely absent in this case. (maybe because it's patently untrue).

    My fear is that these yahoos live in a complete bubble. If Roberts hears from the GOP that they will replace it, don't worry, he might be persuaded to jettison the whole thing. However it's important to note that the Chamber of Commerce has been silent on this, after being vehemently opposed to ACA in the past. Who knows, with these loons.

    I still think they might thread the needle - tell Congress to fix the language and Congress will not. I expect the cowards to do just that.