Enrollments Exceed Obama’s Target for Health Care Act

Eight million people have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, including what the White House said were a sufficient number of young, healthy adults needed to maintain the plan’s viability.

Comments: 317

  1. And I'm glad to be among those ranks. The insurance has worked as promised. All the services I enjoyed a year ago are still provided to me. My teeth haven't fallen out, nor have I developed hemeroids. All the GOP scare-tactics have proven untrue (so what's new, right?).

  2. Amen! Amen! Amen! (And I'm an atheist.) Hurrah for "Obamacare!"

  3. The figures for people under the age of 35 look quite hopeful. It isn't single payer or the French system, but it sure is better than the unholy mess we have had for decades.

  4. And this "data" comes from....where?

    These numbers and their interpretation seem awfully variable, depending on which official is speaking. If challenged, they fall back on the "there's not enough data yet" but when trying to sell their own success they are assertive in this percent or that number of millions as sure things.

    Even statements like "millions of enrollees had purchased private insurance for the first time" STILL does not answer the question of how many have done so because prior employer policies were dropped or cancelled? What evidence is there of people NOT just "moving...from one insurance plan to another"? How do we know? Even the under age 35 claim used as proof of the ACA not attracting older and sicker people - what do we know of the health of those people? Clearly the assumption is all under 35 are healthy and free of chronic conditions - again, where is the statistical data and proof of that?

    This sounds like another "mission accomplished" ad.

  5. i.e. projections based on assumptions

  6. George S:

    What evidence is there of people NOT just "moving...from one insurance plan to another"?

    ***
    Most proclaiming "success" neither know nor care whether people were forced from their existing policies onto the exchanges.

    Given that the president once proclaimed you could "keep your policy", it's hard to believe this total number was to have included those whose policies were cancelled. But it does now.

    When you control the narrative about "success", you can make it whatever you want it to be.

  7. If the mission was to sign up approximately 6.0 Million by the end of March, then yes mission was accomplished.

  8. It's a major achievement, regardless of how terribly flawed it is. This is one act Obama will be remembered for, down the history of modern America. The people will take care of the terrible flaws that for the time being are going to make the health insurance companies and their agents richer. Eventually, those lapses will be fixed. I'm nearly totally disillusioned about an Obama presidency. But I'm going to rejoice over this one accomplishment.

  9. I guess the bailout of the banks didn't rank high on your list of accomplishments?

  10. @John McLaughlin, check your dates. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (i.e., the "bank bailout) was passed in October 2008. Obama wasn't elected until the following month and didn't take office until January 2009.

    You're thinking of George W. Bush.

  11. Sheldon, John McLaughlin is right. Obama will be remembered as the one who saved our hide in the worst downturn since the Depression. Bush will be remembered as the one who brought it on.

  12. Once again:
    1. How many have paid?
    2. How many are newly signup and don't have insurance before?

    8 million means nothing without these 2 numbers.

  13. And since when does 35% make a majority?

  14. It's interesting how the ACA has gone from ending freedom as we know it to how many has paid.

  15. 1. At least 85%.
    2. More than half. Total decline in uninsured in at least 9.3 million (check RAND and others).

  16. Thank you President Obama.

    Let us hope the rest proceeds smoothly.

    To the Rs:
    Enough w the divisiveness, the shrill rhetoric, the repeated attempts to tear this down.

    Let us try to make it work better. The time for protesting should be over by now. The sky has not fallen in, it is not perfect but we could work together as one nation and try to improve it.

  17. Thanks to President Obama for daring to do something for the American People.

  18. The history of how ACA got passed will fill books and volumes for a long time. We should keep in mind the sheer political courage of President Obama to go against all the advice at the time not to pursue ACA. Obama knew that he could not count on a majority in Congress if he waited. Politically Obama has taken his lumps during all this time.

    And as we all have since found out, if Obama did not get ACA passed when he did it will never had gotten passed.

  19. I'm one of the eight million and I'm finally convinced that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay despite the right-wing bluster. Thank you President Obama!

  20. All Mr. Obama's history revealed and hidden NSA/CIA/Wall St. cronyism and corporatism do not take away from this accomplishment. Despite the insurance industry baggage, over a single payer plan, it's still good fairly civilized step in the right direction.

  21. Now if only there was a way to reduce and control the massive greed that is spread across the entire health care and pharmaceutical industry.

  22. Yes. Great day for America.
    Over 8 million signups, means enrollment likely to exceed 7.2 million.
    Add about 8 million ACA compliant private policies bought off-exchange that don't get subsidies.
    Add almost 6 million new enrollment in Medicaid.
    Add about 3 million sub-26ers covered under the Obamacare provision.

    Total healthcare enrollment under Obamacare exceeds 25 million.
    If employer sponsored insurance (ESI) increases by 4-6 million as private companies expand and sweeten ESI plans for employees, we should reach over 30 million people by the next enrollment period (Novemer).

    And the total uninsured covered will go over the CBO projection of 12 million within a few months.

  23. Total healthcare enrollment under Obamacare exceeds 25 million??? What are you calling Obamacare?

    How does the ACA get credit for 8 million ACA compliant private policies bought off-exchange without subsidies? Are those new enrollments? They aren't enrollments in exchange plans, so they aren't relevant, if they exist. The only relationship to the ACA is the "ACA compliant" part, and who knows whether or not they were compliant before, or even better than ACA plans. I'm sure people who were shunted to compliant plans who lost their long term providers and access to local specialized treatment are just exhilarated that they now have pediatric dental.

  24. Susan, insurance companies who sold the ACA compliant policies off-exchange can do it with an easier sign up process because they aren't subsidized. They don't need to verify income etc., just get the name, age, contact information, and collect the payment.

    But if the insurance company is operating on the exchange selling subsidized health plans, then the company has to include the off-exchange policies with the exchange policies into a single risk pool. The amount of profit is limited to a percentage of the pool proceeds, and must be returned to the pool in future policy periods, or help other companies with a higher risk populations in their pool. Today they announced that over 5 million off-exchange policies in the same risk pool as the exchange policies were sold.

    Some companies sold off-exchange ACA compliant policies that don't participate in the exchange market. There are still ACA rules for these companies. Most outside experts expect about 3 million of these policies have been sold.

    So yes... Total enrollment under all provisions of the ACA likely exceeds 25 million. I am so sorry this doesn't jive with the disinformation you have received in the past.

  25. The figures that Obama has released are once again suspect as the insurance commissioners and the insurance companies all say that they are wrong. it does not matter if you signed or enrolled, how many actually paid there premiums and have meet their deductibles. As for under 35 group that is also suspect at best because those under 27 are on their parents plann already and that 3 million figure has already been proven wrong. So from the man that continuously lie about things, nothing coming out of his mouth should be counted as fact until it has been proven by people who are experts and have no political gain.

  26. Give it a rest. The constant negativity is worn-out and unwelcome.

  27. Wow, you naysayers sure thought Obama was telling the truth when the numbers were horrible initially. Have you thought to ask yourself why he would put out horrible numbers and also state the roll-out was bungled if he could just fake the numbers right from the start? Didn't think so. And btw, remind us again about the Republican healthcare plan?

  28. Wrong, jmg.

    (1) There are many under 27's not on any policy, my 20 year old daughter included. I teach as an adjunct at a local college and while they provide me insurance, they do not cover family members, including children. She has to buy her own insurance for 7 more years.

    (2) What do deductibles have to do with this? Almost all insurance plans have deductibles.

    (3) You are talking about all politicians, not just Obama. Do you think the right wing is more honest, always tells the truth, etc.?

  29. ACA (Obama Care) is not perfect, but considering Republican opposition and lobbyists' power, it is the best that (barely) passed the congress. Republicans and conservatives are counting on it, and other imaginary issues (Benghazi, IRS, weak Obama, takeover by federal government, etc) to help them take over the Senate in November. Americans are smarter than that, and Republicans will remain angry and frustrated for two more years. When Hillary wins they will implode from anger and hate.

  30. It's amazing how the President seems to keep meeting his goals with *exactly* the number of enrollees in *exactly* the demographics he said he needed to make his health care law work. I mean, geez, even John Stewart doesn't buy it! Just how stupid does this president think the American people are?

    The President promised that the ACA would cover thirty million previously uninsured Americans, provide universal health care for all Americans, and save the average family $2,500 a year by reducing their insurance premiums to less than the cost of their cell phone bills. Well, has any of this actually happened? One word: No.

    More people could have been insured for less money, if the president had just proposed some kind of health care plan for the poor and lower middle class working families. That way, he would have actually helped the people who needed helping without impacting people who didn't have an issue with their health insurance. But, no, that wasn't how he did it...

    The ACA is a massive failure. The President can spin the numbers all he wants. Most people still aren't buying it.

  31. How can you say that the ACA is a massive failure at this point of time? All I hear is tons of whining and crying without acknowledgement of the positive aspects of the ACA. There are positive aspects to the law that already benefit millions of people. And yes, the program is not perfect but it is designed to help (encourage) more people become insured. The beauty of the ACA law is that is can be improved over time, but that requires hard work, participation, and creative ideas for further improvement. The program just began so give it a chance and send in your suggestion for improvement. Also, I suggest talking with people for whom the program does help- that might change your perspective.

  32. Lets take the promises one by one:
    How does the president keep hitting his goals exactly?
    Well, Obamacare didn't hit it exactly. It surpassed the original target by over one million signups.
    Charles Gaba has been independently totaling state by state totals for months now at ACAsignups site, and has predicted in advance and to the exact day that each milestone, 5M, 6M, 7M, and 8M would be hit. He can verify the total signups.

    The thirty million previously uninsured estimate was for 2017. The CBO projection for this year is 12 million, and ACA should cover that many uninsured by next month. By the end of the year, the number should reach over 16 million.

    Provide universal health care coverage? Yes, PROVIDE, not force. Some people will still pay the penalty or disobey the law, whatever...

    Save the average family $2500 per year? Yes, for those who are covered by Obamacare. Not for every existing family who already gets subsidized health care through their employer. A family of four will save roughly this amount over the next several years, considering that the exchange premiums for no lifetime cap insurance came in at least 15-20% below the old individual market rates; and because the previous 10% rise in annual premiums is now expected to fall below 7% annually (CBO).

    Less than the cost of cell phone bill? I believe that was young people, not a family of four...

    Obamacare succeeded so far, in spite of the lies and distortions.

  33. John, it is easy enough to dismiss this kind of complaining. After FIVE YEARS after Obamacare passed only now, after the rousing success, do they have anything that resembles ideas.

    But it's not really ideas you are hearing. You are hearing the Death Rattle of the GOP. I guess if they keep it up they're going to need some Obamacare.

  34. oh good, more "eyeballs'. now only if knew how many formerly uninsured people are paying the premiums and receiving coverage.

  35. Sounds great, but is it true or is it just another political lie? After all, all politicians lie, and President Obama has proven he will lie to the American people when it suits his purposes. Trust, or what remains of it.

  36. And after you find out that all this is true what will you say then?
    The question is rhetorical because you have no answer for me. I just know that the GOP will still try to come up with another new nugget to throw at Obamacare. After all 79 years after Social Security passed the GOP is still trying to kill it.

    Didn't you hear President Obama today? He said it was over. Time to move on. Obamacare is here to stay. Okay?

  37. "is it true or is it just another political lie"...You mean like why we invaded Iraq?

  38. I was notified last week that I will be dropped from my current small group policy at it's next renewal date. Small group as in small business. I will now need to purchase an individual policy for myself and my family. It appears that my premiums will increase by approximately 65% for similar coverage when I purchase an individual family policy. It is way too early to declare that the ACA is a success, and I suspect that many of the concerns that have been raised may have merit.

  39. Facts please, the name of your old policy/insurer and the links to the info on the old and new coverage.

  40. The difference is likely because your ACA compliant policy covers more stuff and cannot be revoked (as your group policy most certainly just was).

  41. Until you verify what your premiums actually will be, whether or not you will get a subsidy, and what the standard of care and coverage you will receive, it is way too early to declare teh ACA is a failure.

  42. The Republicans and Tea Party can criticize the President all they want but the fact is that millions of people who never had medical insurance before have it today. No, the numbers do not approach the 50 million without insurance but 8 million people is still a lot! In addition every American that had insurance before cannot be cancelled or denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition and that translates into more than 250 million people.

    The Republicans and their Tea Party mini-me want to take money from Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security and give it to the wealthy in the form of more tax breaks and they are doing everything they can to destroy the safety net that tens of millions of Americans have depended on for decades. They have already cut food stamps and caused local food banks around the country to be forced into taking care of more millions of people.

    We cannot call our country the only superpower in the world when many more millions of people still do not have medical insurance and when we cut aid to the poor, middle class, elderly and infirmed and instead give that money to the top 1% of the country, who are the only segment of American society that was not impacted by the Great Recession that began in 2008-2009. A superpower is not defined by the size of its military or the size of its economy by instead by how it treats its citizens and in that regard we have a long way to go before we can call ourselves a true superpower.

  43. How many are truly "new'? And how many more have actually have paid their premium? How many signed up because they were dropped? It's interesting how fast these numbers are reported with very little details attached. I remain skeptical that millions signed up with in a couple of days of the deadline. God Bless if true but then "IF you have like healthcare plan you can keep it" was another thing we were told repeatably.

  44. Its time to sit down. The 8 million number doesn't even include the several additional millions that became eligible for Medicaid under ACA or those under 26 who can stay on their parents policies.

  45. W.A. Spitzer:

    The 9.3 million is a *net* gain in coverage and includes exchange, employer and Medicaid coverage numbers.

  46. Uh, people--the 35% number includes those who have stayed on their parents' plans...that's not the metric to use to determine the viability of the exchanges--it's the 28% number that is referenced; it does not look as though this % has changed much since last month (though it's now being incorrectly spun as 35% apparently)

  47. Uh, .N: Apparently not. The 7% of children were newly enrolled on their parents' plans and parents are paying additional premiums to cover the children. The ACA allows children up to age 26 to enroll under their parents' plans. Prior to the ACA employers only allowed children up to age 24 to enroll on parents' plans. So, these kids do affect the risk pool.

  48. It is astonishing to read some of the naysayers's comments here. The reality is that the ACA is a work in progress and as such it is far from perfect. It is, however, literally a lifeline for millions of Americans who have been without any medical coverage. I strongly believe that The ACA will eventually be viewed as one of President Obama's signature achievements.

  49. It does need to be fixed and that's okay. Let's fix it. This way President Obama will have at least one achievement!

  50. What you say is true - it is a work in progress and is far from perfect, and has undoubtedly been a boon to many, just as it has also caused problems for others.

    But demanding that when the government loudly boasts of it being such a success - which it may or may not be - it is not just being a so-called naysayer for the public to demand proof of that claim! That is only being a responsible citizen and not just blindly accepting anything and everything this or any other administration puts out for the sole reason that some personally admire this president.

  51. How is it possible to live in a country without having a health insurance?
    Now every 3.person gets cancer. This is a sad statistic fact,
    in Norway and I guess also in the USA.
    If you do not have an insurance to pay for the right treatment, how are you than to cope with the situation?
    Why is this a topic-still?
    It is a question about Life - not about political Ideas.

  52. oh oh...I guess the name will be changing from Obamacare now..

  53. This is wonderful news. And now hopefully the Democrats will start to rally around this great news instead of backing off. So in spite of all the damning rhetoric from the far right, Americans are well enough educated to sign up and to acknowledge that this law--this "Obamacare"--is a step in the right direction. I am delighted that this has worked out so well. And hopefully this will empower the Democrats to be less timid in the future. The should wear the label "Obamacare" with pride. And to think that it was a term begun to derail the law. Ha! Ha! Ha! Tea Party!!!!

  54. Why are you fooling yourself? Wait and see till next election how it will "empower democrats."

  55. Now, will the congress, please, read the whole legislation? Then apply the fixes to the law that both parties know will make the program only better?

  56. Of course, the Republicans won't let that happen, no matter how much sense it makes.

  57. I've gotten it, and shockingly, I have yet to be called in front of a death panel.

    The reality is that the Republicans lost this fight and will lose the war. For all their bluster, they're still unwilling and unable to clearly state their goal, which is to take away healthcare coverage from people who can't pay full unsubsidized freight - this includes the poor, Medicare recipients (just check Ryan's budget proposals), and Obamacare enrollees. They simply don't care what happens to those people. Period. Or rather, what they say privately but not publicly is that those people don't deserve that benefit if they can't pay for it, no matter how wealthy the country is, no matter how bent the overall system is, no matter how damaging it is to the country.

    So of course they can't win, because they offer no alternative, constructive or otherwise, other than the previous status quo, which nobody really wants to go back to.

  58. "...35 percent are under the age of 35, countering the criticism that it would attract mainly older and sicker people." Are you refering to 35 to 64? Medicare covers at 65. So 7 million out of 317 million of the U.S. population signed up. After looking at the numbers, Obamacare is a tax scam.

  59. My freaking ingrown toenail still hurts.

  60. a good first step. now all we need is for employers to get out of the health care business entirely and leave it to government, where it should have been all along.

  61. It's almost laughable, if not dangerous to hear these blowhards refer to the ACA as a massive failure. All you need to experience is a friend or a loved one with a "precondition" like breast cancer who couldn't get insurance at any price.

    If this is what failure looks like, count me as one of the converted with compassion for those who didn't have any options before this bill was passed.

  62. Still no transparency in these numbers!
    How many of these eight million lost their insurance because of Obama? How many signed up for Medicare?
    I also thought there were 40 million uninsured out there?
    Gimme a break!
    For most people, Obamacare is disaster! I can't keep my doctor. I can't keep my plan. My new policy is much more expensive and covers less.
    Obama is a liar and a fool! The media plays along!

  63. You forgot to mention Benghazi and the IRS. Hey, the CBO estimate was 7 million, so stuff the transparency garbage and quit trying to move the goal posts. ACA beat the estimate, period. No matter how much you hate Obama, time to admit you were on the wrong side of history.

  64. You also forgot to mention food stamps.

  65. I have Type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition that excluded me from any health insurance coverage before the ACA. (Unless you think $1500+ a month premiums are workable.)

    Under the ACA I can get silver-level insurance thought my state's exchange for less than $400/month. And that's for my whole family.

    The GOP's only argument against the ACA seems to be propaganda and hysteria--"It's a disaster!" "It eliminates choice!" "You'll lose your doctor!"

    They have no answer, at least on a factual level.

    GOP leadership knows that if they did some ROI and cost-benefit analysis (which you'd think would be automatic for the putative "party of business") the results would be clear: the ACA is working.

    As for anyone suffering from Type 1 diabetes on any previously "uninsurable" chronic disease no insurance means a fairly quick, inevitable exit from the land of the living. No that's a Death Panel.

  66. You should thank your higher achieving friends and neighbors for paying for your free stuff

  67. Roshanna: The only way around this is if everyone pays all their medical expenses out of pocket!! Are you wanting to do that?

    The way insurance works is by pooling everyone's expenses and risks. Everyone "pays for" everyone else's heath care in the pool. But so many people think "me, me, me" that they don't even understand what insurance means. It is not "free." The purpose of all insurance is to spread the risk. If you pay an average premium of say, $500 a month, do you demand a refund if you didn't need to see a doctor that month? Of course not. So where does that $500 go? (Partly) to pay for the medical bills of others who did see a doctor that month. (The rest goes to insurance co profit and expenses, such as huge compensation for execs)

    As to your comment about high-achieveing friends and neighbors, whatever does that have to do with this? Your comments seem all ideology, little understanding.

  68. I would have preferred compulsory car insurance.

  69. We already have that. There isn't a state in the nation that doesn't require it.

  70. Point taken Notafan. So why couldn't the states handle this? What jurisdiction does the federal government have that can require me to buy a consumer product?

  71. One thing will be certain. The Republicans and their cohorts will not let facts get in the way of their continuing lies.

  72. And the lack of evidence and proof will not get in the way of a group of the president's supporters no matter what! If he says it they will believe! Period.

  73. My question:
    How has ACA helped the 48+ million Americans who were NOT previously insured?
    With 8 million enrolled, where are the 40 million who have not?
    My son's insurance policy was canceled and now he is uninsured, he couldn 't get through to the site.

  74. All he had to do was to call the help line and (at worst) apply by talking to the person on the other end. The govt staffed these lines heavily, with people speaking other languages as well as English. Millions of people got insurance this way, and your son has only himself (and perhaps the state he lives in, if it did not set up an exchange).

  75. Now please all of you who have signed up for the ACA please vote in November and vote for Democrats, or many of you will see your access to health insurance disappear. The Republican Ryan budget calls for abolishing the ACA and privatizing Medicare. If you don't vote Republicans out at every level, you will be risking your health and possibly your life.

  76. History will love President Obama. He ended two wars, saved the world economy from a catastrophic depression and brought American healthcare to the masses. His likeness will certainly be carved on Mt. Rushmore.

  77. Oh please. He ended 2 wars by being an unrealistic idealist and he's allowing new impending wars to pop up all over the globe. Slowest economic recovery since the great depression due to excessive regulations, new taxes, and anti-business rhetoric. brought poor quality expensive health care to way fewer folks than promised while simultaneously damaging good health care for most of the rest of the country. AND there is no definitely no room for him on MT Rushmore - I think the real Presidents up there would get up and walk away if Obama joined them.

  78. terry brady is completely right. If Obama was a Repub they would want to put him on Mount Rushmore. But the Repubs won't. Maybe some day America will carve President Obama on Mount Rushmore. As it is, if those 4 presidents who are on Mount Rushmore were here today they would all be sickened by the sight of today's GOP.

  79. New Conservative..."Slowest economic recovery since the great depression due to excessive regulations, new taxes, and anti-business rhetoric"...... Well the Bush recession was the worst economic drop since the depression, so you shouldn't be too surprised. But you are probably not aware that after the Obama job stimulus package (which changed a loss of 600,000 jobs a month to a plus 100,000), most economists, including conservatives suggested further job stimulus was needed, but it was rejected by the Republican Congress; or that most economists warned that keeping the sequester would hurt jobs, but the Republican Congress refused to lift the sequester; or that economist warned that if the Republican Congress shut down the government it would hurt the economy, but no, the Republican Congress went ahead and did it anyway and cost the economy 24 billion dollars. Got any more questions about the slow recovery?

  80. And Republicans have countered that their 'independent' sources indicate that a total of just eight people have signed up for health insurance under the ACA.

    Reality is one big lie: GOP 2014.

  81. Still telling the big lie: "Only the GOP lie"?

    Obama is the one with the credibility problem.

  82. I want to reprise a number from that long-ago musical "Of Thee I Sing":
    "We love Obamacare,
    Oh, yes, we do...."

    Oh, sure, it's not what it could have been given better circumstances in Congress, i.e., a lot more Democrats and a lot fewer mean-spirited tea drinkers. But this will be the President's legacy. And a great one it will be, right up there with LBJ and FDR!

  83. Good first step is health insurance for 8 million Americans or close to 3% of the population which did not have it before. Now the next goal is universal health care, where every sick human being on our planet (not just 100% of American) will be taken care of by themselves first and then only by governments. My call to the world which I will keep repeating is "Ask not what the country can do for your health, ask what you can do for yourself to stay healthy" Healthcare will remain affordable if each individual does their very best to stay healthy by following the advances in biomedical research, ensuring that they are immunized, controlling their weight, adopting healthy lifestyles and consuming balanced nutrition while limiting their intake to their appropriate daily requirement.

  84. Girish: Gallop has uninsured down from 18% of adults over 18 last fall, to under 13% the last half of March, a drop of 5% so far. This drop exceeds 10 million uninsured Americans. CBO expects the uninsured to drop about 12 million year.

  85. As of Jan. 1, I have had good insurance coverage under Obamacare at a very reasonable cost. Independent, nonpartisan analyses indicate 85-90% of enrollees will make and continue premium payments. Enrollees under 35 will be at a percentage to allow O-care to continue successfully at reasonable premiums. By the time Obama leaves office in about three years, there will have been four years of annual enrollments. The huge critical mass of participants at that time will almost certainly then guarantee a claim of "mission accomplished." But these successful numbers aren't the main story. The most important fact is that millions of upon millions of deserving Americans are and will no longer be shut out of health insurance. That's the primary bottom line success of Obamacare.

  86. A good start. Now how about Medicare for all ? Everyone in, nobody out. There's still a good 40-50 million uninsured. Next, stop the greed in the medical/pharmaceutical complex. Check what doctors get paid in other countries. No reason for someone to make 75 million a year doing cataract removal. Or CEOs making similar sums.

    Sadly , the folks who make tons of money also control the political process. We've created a great system by and for the 1%. This is not healthy or sustainable.

  87. I'm happy we have Obamacare but I'm not contented with just that. I say we build on ACA and move toward single payer. One step at a time, seems that's the way we do things here in the US.

  88. I am a nurse practitioner working in an acute care hospital. Yes, the pharmaceutical companies are part of the problem. Recently I needed a medication for 14 days. The cost $632.00 for 14 days for the brand name drug. My insurance company was unwilling to pay for it! The generic drug was recalled because of problems with it. My physician went to bat for me and I ended up paying $50.00. A friend of mine in Canada was recently on the same medication and paid $4.50, yes that's right $4.50 for the same medication. No wonder the poor and disadvantaged can not afford medications prescribed by the physicians to these people discharged from the hospital. No wonder that, in general, these people on average do not live as long as the rest of us and of course not as long as the 1% and the very rich. How can the GOP and so many Republicans insist that the US has the best healthcare system in the world. Yes, the best healthcare system for the very rich and the 1%.

  89. You absolutely know the ACA is working when the major health insurance companies tell President Obama, as they did today, that they're eager to expand their participation in numerous states including many like Idaho and South Carolina where there is strong opposition! After all, no matter our opinioYns--pro or con, it is a free market system and those selling the health insurance policies say that want more of that business. And like any product, if you can find a better deal elsewhere, go ahead and buy it. But please, stop whining about it! You probably have a choice. But, for millions of Americans it's the first time they've been able to get affordable health care and it's a life-and-death decision for many of them.

  90. It has been reported that neither the exchanges or the insurance companies kept metrics of whether or not any of the enrollments had private insurance before the ACA.

    If that is true then from what official source of measurements is the president making the statement "millions of the enrollees had purchased private insurance for the first time" ?

  91. Both Gallop and Rand corporation track uninsured, and both have published surveys that show that 9-10 million uninsured adults have gotten insurance since last fall.

    Gallop had uninsured at 18% of adults last fall, and by the last half of March, less than 13% of respondents were uninsured.

  92. Good Paul. Thank goodness nobody lies to pollsters.

  93. Congratulations. Only 40 million to go, or whatever that number is. And something more reasonable for people like myself with a $15,000 deductible. Can we stop playing these games and have Medicare for all like every other "developed" country has? Oh but wait, we'd have to redo our tax structure first. Nevermind. This is an oligarchy after all, can't expect too much.

  94. Finally accomplished!

    Huge windfall for the for- profit insurance industry and hospital industry who wrote the ACA. It is really nice to see the purpose of the National Democratic Party realized.

    The Obama Administration pushed through the Heritage Foundation's rapacious health insurance for everyone plan from the 1980s down the throats of the already suffering working class; no Republican Administration could have pulled this sham off as well as Democratic Administrations.

    Congratulations!

  95. Okay, it is time for Democrats in general to trumpet the success of this program. It should be referred to in campaign ads as a great American success story. And nobody should be backing away from it.

    Six months from now it will be perceived favorably by a majority of US voters. And Democrats can bludgeon Republicans repeatedly with their attempts to destroy it and to destroy any reasonable health insurance program which increases health coverage.

    This is a total win for Democrats and they need to remind everybody how they are in their corner and how Republicans do everything they can to work against the best interests of the average American.

  96. The executives at the private health insurance companies who funneled millions into Obama's campaign coffers upon the promise that he would abandon single payer are dancing on the decks of their yachts in the Caribbean today. 8 million new suckers, a huge portion of them young and healthy, who will now pay an incredible amount of money over their lifetimes for health coverage that in other countries is considered a right, not a privilege. Corruption is sweet, indeed.

  97. Actually Joe, the idea of private exchanges was originally proposed by the NOT liberal Heritage Foundation. People would likely not be paying more if it were a single payer system but of course, that would be socialism and all that jazz.

    Facts are inconvenient aren't they?

  98. Well, speaking of facts, smath, the Heritage Foundation no longer supports what the thought was a good idea 20+ years ago, in part because of different economic realities that have emerged and how the ACA was actually set up. So it's inconvenient for your argument, but it is not factual to point to a proposal from decades ago and as if it proves anything about our present situation.

  99. George,

    Do you really think the President and his party preferred this plan over single payer?

    Most likely not. They did it to make it more palatable to some Rs to get them in board. Of course that never happened. Youcan say Heritage changed its mind, but this option was originally thought up by the folks at heritage and that is a fact.

    Whether it applies today blah, blah is irrelevant bc the point I was trying to make is that the starting point was based on that institution's ideas.

    Romneycare (the apparent precursor to Obamacare) was put in place by none other than mr. Free market capitalism himself, gov. Romney (and I use that not to put him down but purely to say the man is no left winger).

    So it us not " inconvenient for (my) argument ."

  100. how many paid? How many will make it through and realize their deductable next year will be a "balloon" payment. How many realize how few doctors in Texas take this "insurance". How many will show up, not pay their premiums, but have "insurance" which the physician has to take, and then get hosed when there is no insurance. I trust these guys as much as I trust the Russians

  101. Houston? Isn't that still in Texas? How long have you been holding your breath waiting for your STATE legislators to open up health care exchanges?

  102. Gee these numbers just keep increasing by 500,000 at a clip. Can we be a little more exact or is this just more spin and lies from this president? mean both Clinton and Nixon told one big lie, but Obama just keeps rolling them out. Doubt that this will convince any of those who already don't trust this whole situation. Pure politics for the 2014 mid-terms if you ask me.

  103. Thats right, and you started this I didn't, Bush never lied to us did he?

  104. "is this just more spin and lies from this president?".....What did you expect from someone who claimed to be born in Hawaii, when all along you are absolutely certain he was born in Kenya.

  105. I think you forgot G. W. Bush, or do you think his lie was trivial since only 100,000 Iraqis died. How about the millions of lives that were ruined? Was the decision to invade Iraq based on a lie OK with you? How about the thousands of Americans who died in Iraq and Afghanistan? Should I go on with a few more lies?

  106. Great! Why stop now? Keep selling it. Build sales momentum. What business would sell a product for only a few months a year? Start a second enrollment period that begins July 1. Or, how about giving people a discount if they pre-enroll for coverage for next year. Pay for one month now and get 10% off for the following year's coverage. Ue positive incentives instead of just negative threats of penalties. Can't we find any hyper-educated policy wonks that know how to run a sidewalk lemonade stand?

  107. Mr Obama can drop this fantasy number of 8 million by at least 1 person. I had my health plan cancelled and had to buy a new one (losing 1/2 of my doctors in the process) so I guess I'm part of the 8 million. Sure I'm not the only one in this situation. Thanks for nothing Mr Prez!

  108. If your plan was cancelled it was due to it not meeting the new minimum quality standards, either because of some pre-existing condition and/or lifetime benefits cap. Both of these practices are now illegal, as they should always have been. Thanks indeed should go to our President.

  109. Quality? Nonsense. A good change was the prohibition on denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, but once again, saying that every single policy regardless of one's medical conditions, needs, age or sex must have, by law, maternity care, mental health care, etc., does not in anyway render a policy without such coverage of poor quality. And if that were absolutely the case, then how can we even consider - as the law allows - the purchase of so-called catastrophic coverage for certain demographic groups that does not include those provisions? I mean, if it's low quality junk for a 36 year old then it's junk for a 35 year old, right?

  110. In response to Anonymous - not true at all - I had a sole proprietor health policy and that whole category of health policies was eliminated. The coverage is approximately the same as I have now except I got to keep my doctors.

    Please do some research before spouting the democrat talking points.

  111. I doubt that there are many people who hate affordable healthcare for Americans, but when the government lied, committed fraud and then extorted it's citizens to implement the program, it became a problem and it will always be a problem due to those reason's.

  112. You're wrong. Read the comments here. People are howling with rage at the idea of their fellow citizens being able to receive much needed medical care. Not a single one of them ever mentions a viable alternative to the ACA.

  113. Consider the source. It's entirely possible that the president doesn't know how to actually measure "success." In fact, for a career politician who has only ever been concerned with a total vote tally, considering only a total enrollment tally makes perfect sense.

    The idea that there is a set of measurements, including a baseline starting point, that remains consistent throughout the process might just be entirely foreign to him.

    The numbers will eventually be studied and the program evaluated. Until that time, the president believes it's a success. Using the equivalent of a vote count, it is.

    Americans have their own definition of "success". They will use their own measures, which include access to doctors, premiums, deductibles, penalties, etc., and weigh in during the next election. It will be Obama's definition of success versus theirs.

  114. This is another tall tale from the credibility challenged President who has an affection for nice round numbers that continue to evade scrutiny by the press. Waving a magic wand and announcing whatever comes to mind continues to prove efficacious for lobotomized acolytes who remain shackled to deception.

    It is sad to witness an American President who only repeats his mantra of ideology and denial of truth each time at the podium which acts to further undermine his influence at home and around the world, where he is now completely dismissed.

  115. The only "denial of truth" here can be found in your comments.

  116. Really--our standing in the world was so much better when we were starting unfounded wars and letting sick people die without coverage.

    I'm willing to pay more taxes if the money is used to send all these righties to Russia, where they can enjoy the kind of leader they crave so much.

  117. Ya, I think it would have been a lot better if Obama had just gone to war, with let's say Mexico. We might actually have won, and the the VA could then take of all those new veterans.

  118. Eight million may have signed up. Seven million will be searching for a doctor who will actually see them.

  119. And inside every silver lining there's a dark cloud. No use wondering who you're rooting for...

  120. The enrollment of 8 million is somewhat disappointing. By comparison, Medicare signed up about 18 million in its first year. Unlike Medicare, though, the ACA is a major political football, which has to have discouraged some potential enrollees. The key question is whether enough people have signed up so that future enrollment will be based mainly on enrollees' accounts of performance. 8 million seems more than enough for that purpose.

  121. "The enrollment of 8 million is somewhat disappointing"......The CBO estimate was that 7 million would sign up the first year. Further, the number does not include the additional 3 million that became eligible for Medicaid under ACA or those under 26 that are now permitted to stay on their parents policies.

  122. @Mich, the thing is, when Medicare came along, there was NOTHING else for the target population - NOTHING. When ACA came along, a whole lot of people had other plans...thru work, thru orgs, thru family...some have such strong ties to GOP they won't buy it no even if their very life depends on it (we call that amoral brainwashing, but that's a separate issue). The reality is that this is a whole different kettle of fish. I'd say 8 mil is very good considering a) the heavy push on the part of the GOP and b) the roll-out fiasco. I predict that within 5 years, we will be expanding it, not cancelling it - regardless of who is in the WH.

  123. of course with Obamacare you have to pay something to get the free stuff; Medicaid is just free, so having to pay will be less popular

  124. My straight-ticket Republican grandfather went to his grave believing FDR had ruined the country by providing the Social Security safety net. My straight-ticket Republican father (until he lost confidence in Ronald Regan's "trickle-down" economic theories) felt Lyndon Johnson went too far. Here we are, in the 21st century, with a Republican Party that lacks fiscal responsibility (won't tax in order to pay the bills it incurs, shuts down the government, risks international confidence in the dollar) and persistently denies social acceptance to minorities. Neither my fair-minded father or grandfather would recognize or support this Party, which appears so determined to regain political power at the Federal level that they dishonestly undermine and discredit popular programs critical to the well-being of the middle and lower classes.

    A high percentage of Americans are now dependent upon or will become dependent upon entitlement programs, including ObamaCare, that provide economic and medical insurance for minimum living standards. Properly administered and properly funded by a broad base of potential beneficiaries, such insurance is as legitimate as homeowners insurance, business interruption insurance, and private medical insurance. Persistent Republican Party efforts to kill programs off for political benefits, appealing to the rich and powerful, should be repudiated at the polls. Let every American citizen vote to indicate the success of ObamaCare.

  125. I would point out that Social Security is unsustainable based on the current financing/demographic base. Roosevelt's social security in terms of payroll withholding and coverage was only a tiny fraction of what is being promised now.

  126. Harry Koch was the grandfather of Charles and David Koch. Harry Koch fought FDR tooth and nail over Social Security. 79 years later his grandkids are still trying to kill it.

    Jack Person is just repeating the old line about Social Security. And an old line it is. 79 years old and the GOP is still trying to kill Social Security. They're trying to kill Medicare too. Just like they'll try to kill Obamacare. All the efforts will be in vain.

  127. To Jack Person: perhaps with current financing, but not for some time. However, so easily fixed by raising the income cap on which SS is paid. Why undo a program that benefits everyone when it can be easily financed (were it not for those who subsidize the wealthy)?

  128. It's hard to take this man seriously - everything that comes out of his mouth is carefully, politically calculated and difficult to verify. He claims to have precise "statistics" but is unwilling or unable to share supporting numbers. When asked important follow-up questions, he either deflects them as criticism or claims the data is unavailable.

    Just this week there was news that the Census Bureau, for the first time in 30 years, is changing its methodology of counting the uninsured - in such a way that the reported numbers of uninsured will be significantly lower than they would otherwise have been. This was done with the Obama administration's oversight and approval, and conveniently timed (like many of his other actions) around the election cycle. This is Orwellian to the extreme - Ministry of Propaganda type stuff.

    Until the mid-terms, we should all fully expect Obama to continue to take victory laps based on statistics that are not independently verifiable. Partisan supporters of this mendacity are either complicit in the lying or wilfully uninterested in the truth.

  129. How you must long for the days of W when we started a war for no apparent reasons that killed tens of thousands, spent like drunken sailors and gift-wrapped a drug bill for Big Pharma.

    News flash--Obama is the first president ever to use political calculation on a regular basis! God knows why he needs to: it's not like this is the most unproductive and unpopular Congress in our nation's history, or we are suffering through one party's attempt to obstruct at all costs.

  130. This is what Repubs say to each other to salve themselves from the mountain of losses they have had to endure.

    Obama lies. "You Lie!" Obama lied about his birth certificate. Obama lied about this. Obama lied about that.

    I'm old so I'll say "It sounds like a broken record." Young folks are going to have to Google the broken record reference for understanding.

  131. 48 million uninsured / 8 million signed-up = 16.6% This is a success? It does not begin to qualify as such. Universal healthcare and reigning-in Big Medicine is going to be the only eventual solution/

  132. The CBO estimate was that 7 million would sign up the first year. Sorry, the fact is that ACA beat the estimate.

  133. Please go to ACA signups, where you will discover that in addtion to the 8 M who purchased policies on the exchanges, there are millions more people who are now insured becuause of expanded (and paid for) coverage under their parents' policies up until age 26, Medicaid expansion, etc. Depending on which categories you include, the total affected falls in the range 14-23M, and may grow by upt another 8 M people who bought unsubsized ACA compliant policies directly from insurers (RAND study estimates). So in the end, we are talking about TENS of millions of people who now have much better insurance than they had before.

  134. W.A. Spitzer--the CBO estimate of 7 million was that the vast majority of those sign ups would be previously uninsured. According to the studies McKinsey has been publishing, less than 1/3 of the "sign ups" have been those who were previously uninsured. Further, of those 1/3 that were previously uninsured, the McKinsey studies have shown that only ~50% have paid the first month's premium.

    Not sure how you're getting "the fact is that ACA beat the estimate"

  135. Next up for the President: Overcoming resistance from drug-company-paid-off congressmen and congresswomen (from the GOP and DNC) who refuse to let the federal government (Medicare) negotiate prices with the big pharmaceutical companies.

    All of which could cut drug costs to the American tax-payer by up to 50%.

    Now surely, the deficit hawks won't fight that one. Right?

  136. Please consider how off-the-charts successful the ACA could still become. The Stone Age Red States, run by dog-in-the-manger governors and legislatures, are guilty of execution by neglect. These politicians, by refusing to represent the most vulnerable in their midst without a thought for the Judeo-Christian idea of "the principle of right dealing," are as guilty of murder as if they were actual killers. Which, absent Christian concern for "the least among us," they most certainly are. All this, of course, is because of the 44th occupant of the White House. I think he'll be vindicated in the end, and his obstructionist opposition will be forever branded as petty thieves of the commonwealth.

  137. Clearly the ACA deniers, the GOP and many Republican voters clearly Christians in name only because they do not care if people go bankrupt secondary to a catastrophic illness or persons ending up in ICUs with severe injuries because of MVA (motor vehicle accident) or severe burns of any cause. I could go on but you get the drift

  138. So he considers this a victory because X number of people have been forced to sign up. Sounds like calling our prison system a success because it gets more populated and bloated every day. It doesn't really matter that Obamacare is a pig of a program that is far inferior to what we had, while it costs more. Cost + value = quality. We are negative on quality with this ill-conceived mess.

  139. You really don't know anything about health care do you? The system we had was the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S.

    What we have now is more people able to get health care and more people are paying into the system themselves, rather than having taxpayers pick up the tab for ER bills.

    If you don't like the ACA the come up with something better.

  140. More for some, less for most. Coverage for millions. Superior to what we had? You are joking. Yes? What we had was an inadequate mess that drove people into bankruptcy. Would you have had a criticism if only a million signed up? I think so. There is no winning with certain people and certain parties.

  141. You are so wrong on every point. I can't believe you would rather go back to what we had before where insurance was a luxury for the poor and a money maker for the wealthy. Before the ACA my insurance cost over $365 per month, now it is less than $100. Tell me, how is that worse than before.

  142. Conspicuously absent in all the reporting is the number of those who remain uninsured.

    Last I heard there were perhaps 40 million uninsured of which we can now subtract those 8 million but that still leaves a lot of uninsured people remaining.

    There must be some way to make enrollment continuous and not limited. It's a no-brainer really. Make it happen somehow.

  143. Well to really solve for all the uninsured there is a simple solution abd it's called single payer. Medicare for all.

  144. Lets see how much you don't know? About 4M of the exchange enrollment will be previously uninsured.
    But did you know that another 5-6M have signed up for Medicaid expansion through the states (go state by state to find the enrollments)? Most of these will be uninsured.
    Did you know that most of the 3M sub-26ers were uninsured?
    Did you know that CBO estimates that the number uninsured this year will drop by 12 million, and by 30 million by 2017?
    Did you know that both Gallop and the Rand Corporation showing that about 10 million uninsured adults got insurance from last September until the end of March?
    Did you know that that Gallop had the uninsured in America drop to 12.9% in the poll respondents in the second half of March, down from over 18% last fall?
    Did you know that Medicaid enrollment continues?
    And did you know that some insurance companies can continue to sell ACA compliant insurance policies off-exchange, they just can't get the subsidies for their customers until the fall enrollment period begins,and they move them to an exchange policy?

  145. That would be called single payer, like Canada's -- you are insured at birth, and you don't lose that coverage. Jumping through hoops every month, or year, is not required in order to receive health care.

  146. Gotta love all the outrage in the comments here from those that wouldn't cheer the ACS even if they got a check for a million bucks as a result.

    Keep crying, folks. Maybe you'll get lucky and we'll return to the good 'ol days when insurers cancelled plans and raised premiums by 30% annually, and when people were turned down by the millions due to pre-existing conditions.

    It must be so hard to see those CBO reports showing the success of the program. If it was implemented by a black and/or dem president, it can't be good under any circumstances, right?

  147. Working for some maybe , I am 55 in perfect health however for me my monthly rate has tripled , cannot use my old Doctors and my deductible doubled. I'll take the 1% hit this year and pay if I need be for any visits . Thanks Mr President for making a bad situation with health insurance ever worse. Oh sorry it's " health care" not insurance.

  148. I don't believe your rates would have tripled......post your numbers and how you got them.....

  149. JF Shepard - People making these claims never have any actual numbers or names of insurance companies. I wonder why that is.....

  150. In order to evaluate fairly one needs to take their individual story out of the equation and look at the big picture. Just because it is not good for one person or even a certain percent, does not mean it does not work overall. Even if what you say is correct, and it sounds highly doubtful, some people always pay more than others. Sorry it had to be you. But that would not make the entire program unsuccessful.

    I am sick and tired of all the me, me, me complaints.

  151. Good start. Next step, Single Payer. Get this country out of the dark ages. The civilized world probably thinks we're still relying upon snake oil and leeches. Luckily the ACA bill leaves open the option for states to explore Single Payer if they want. Time to start the ball rolling with each state switching over to Single Payer one by one. Single Payer states can then recognize each other's Single Payer systems for reciprocal coverage while traveling. Eventually even the citizens of the backwater red states will insist upon the switch.

  152. I agree, but more what is more likely to happen is the Republicans win in 2014 and 2016 and repeal the ACA.

  153. What are the Repubs going to win, MSB? The Whiffle Ball Toss? That's about it.

  154. I find it strange that the president is stuck on this definition of "success". He still cannot bring himself to admit that "success" once meant something different.

  155. You can't seem to admit that health care in this country is abominable.

  156. ...and how many of the 8 million had to join either a national state ACA entity or a state health entity because they lost coverage due to the ACA's enactment or a state's mandate resulting from the passage of the ACA?

  157. Minuscule numbers. The number of newly covered by all aspects of this reform is put at 12 million today by Gallup.

  158. You state unnamed industry experts say the number of young people is too low for viability, yet don't mention anything about United Healthcare staying that the exchanges are functioning just fine and in fact are planning on expanding their participation in exchanges next year. The market seems to have made a decision on the viability of the exchanges. I'm sure someone from United would have been willing to go on the record to discuss their public statements and that would have added some balance to this piece.

    You also neglected to sum up the number of people who are benefiting from other aspects of the ACA, those under 26 on their parents plans, those on medicaid. Many millions more.

    Lastly you fail to mention the millions of people being deprived of healthcare for political reasons in those states not expanding Medicaid. If Republicans had their way, all of the millions mentioned above would be in the same boat as these poor souls unfortunate enough to live in the wrong state.

    So, yes, it was a victory lap and a well-deserved one. Given the magnitude and significance of this legislation, I expect more thorough reporting and a more balanced perspective from the NYT.

    I guess i can still hope for a decent editorial. Please don't let me down editorial board or I might give up on this paper.

  159. Rick,
    Everyone in a blue state should thank those in a red states who are paying for ACA but not receiving medicaid expansion. What is going to happen when their poor discover how their legislators have let them down? Some states, for example, KY & Arizona told their pubs to take a hike.

  160. The percentage of young people enrolled in AHCA , is even more than the percentage of that population group in entire population. So AHCA has attracted more younger people than the % of those people in population. The GOP opposition is rooted in hate and demagoguery.

  161. Many valid policies were cancelled by ACA so many of the signups are only replacing what was lost.
    I'd really like to know the NET amount of insured people.

  162. Gallup put out figures today that say 12 million NEWLY insured. Includes kids now covered and medicaid expansion and new insurance policies.

    So..........those numbers you would like to see are their of you choose to see them.

  163. Not quite, Nakita. The Gallup number is also hazy. For one, it includes the standard signups that have always occurred as people are born or come of age to buy their own insurance. At any given time in history of insurance there is a certain rate of signups. If that number is 6 million and the number of Medicaid enrollees is 6 million then ACA exchanges netted zero new signups. But we don't have all that information. Compiling all the sources it looks like ACA state and fed exchanges signed up about 2.5 million people who were previously uninsured. And about 3 million who had insurance elsewhere and moved onto exchanges for the subsidy or because their policy was cancelled.

  164. "For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old."

    You notice Obama made no mention of the federal exchange's numbers. I wonder why?

  165. It would seem they are not using the numbers from states where Republican governors/legislatures have impeded heir own citizens access to health care. And why should they use them? This program is very effective in the states that are HELPING their own citizens get insurance, and that is where the true success shows.

  166. "Valid"? They were mostly junk, substandard policies that couldn't hold a candle to the coverage required by Obamacare.

  167. Grasping at straws......the ACA is more successful at getting people insured than anticipated even before the IT problems, , CBO has raised the estimated savings another $109 BILLION, but you STILL have to hang on to that tired disproved nonsense about it failing......hope the pubbies have a plan B for the election, since Obamacare is here, it is helping millions of Americans, it s not going away, and the numbers speak for themselves.

  168. I'm still waiting for the numbers on previously uninsured and those with pre-existing conditions This was the major selling point and yet...crickets

  169. By far the biggest boost to the rolls were the 5 million or so who fell victim to "if you like your plan you can keep it" and had to re-enroll.

  170. Wrong. About 5-6 million junk plans got cancellation notices, but most upgraded to a better plan. About 1.5 million took advantage of the grandfather clause, and re-upped. About one million left insurance lapse.

    Only about a million ended on the Obama marketplace.

  171. Yes Paul, its a good thing that 50 year old man could upgrade to a policy that included obgyn coverage and free birth control.

  172. Paul, the problem is those people were forced to "upgrade" to an ACA compliant policy and pay double to three times the price if not qualified for a subsidy. That's a problem.

    How about we force youv to upgrade your car to one with a $500 higher monthly payment then when you don't like it we'll call your old car junk?

  173. We are still at a wait and see moment, I think. Eight million going through the enrollment process and picking a plan is certainly welcome news, especially given more younger and presumably healthier people signed up at the very end. We already know that the Medicaid expansion has given millions of Americans coverage as well.
    Implementation of the ACA, however, is very complex, especially given state by state risk pools and the danger that some states will have expansive, affordable coverage options that enrollees are pleased with and other states, where residents are less healthy and require more care, will have far more limited plan options coupled with higher costs.
    If the bulk of those who picked a plan pay their premiums throughout the year, are happy with the provider networks and access to care policies provide, feel their out of pocket costs on premiums, deductibles and copay are affordable, then it will be time for a real victory lap.

  174. Um, my 63-year old best friend *started* the enrollment process but clicked the "Later" button. She went on the website simply so she could claim she tried. She's gambling on waiting for Medicare in 2 years and has no intention of completing her application, let alone making any payments. Was she counted in the 8 million?

  175. No, Margaret, your friend is not considered enrolled until & unless she actually enrolls - & pays her first premium.

  176. Doy, that person IS included in Obama's 8 million count. But you are right they should not be until they are actually enrolled.

  177. Republicans aren't anti Obamacare. That' s a misnomer. They are, as usual, simply anti Obama. Therefore, they can't admit to themselves that the ACA is showing signs of success--regardless how many lives or bank accounts it might down the road save. To acknolwedge its potential for working out, for being successful, would mean President Obama is successful too. And doing that is sadly too far beyond their ken or even their imagination.

  178. bkay,
    Although one would think it is about Obama, in reality it is not. Yes, a lot of the anger is directed towards Obama, but he is really just the stalking horse. Some reason is needed to direct the issue away from the lobbyists. It is not politically astute to say that you are representing one of the vested interests. If the serfs realized what the real purpose of the misdirected anger was not Obama how could they ever support the landowners. As in Watergate, follow the money! This issue is about misdirecting away from the real issue which is retention of vested interests. They just cannot say it.

  179. Four percent of those who signed up in the federal exchange market do not have health insurance before. It is a modest number but encouraging and moving in the right direction.

  180. I think you're misreading the statistics. 4% of people who were previously uninsured signed up for healthcare through the exchanges, not 4% of the exchange participants were previously uninsured.

  181. The $1067 premium is for private insurance that is compliant with the ACA, and also tied to my age (61). Since NJ has no state exchange, and since my income is below the poverty standard, I qualify for Medicaid. And because I qualify for Medicaid, I do not even have the choice of purchasing private insurance through the federal exchange, even if I am willing to pay for it from my savings.

  182. Iris, you don't have to buy insurance through the exchange. If you'd rather buy insurance with savings then just go to an insurance company or agent and buy it. The ACA requires that you have insurance, not that you buy it on the exchange.

  183. The private health insurance plan that I've had for the past 8 years expires at the end of May. Knowing that the health insurance company from which I purchased this plan would be replacing my policy with an ACA compliant plan, I waited to see what my new premium would be for the kind of basic coverage I now have. Here's the result. Old premium: $428/month. New premium: $1067/month.

    Thank God my current income qualifies me for Medicaid...but of course I live in NJ, which was recently highlighted on NPR for having an insufficient number of doctors willing to accept Medicaid patients. So I guess really I thank God for having good health, not good health care.

  184. So is the $1067 including the Medicaid assistance??

  185. Iris, really, I think you could use a little help to navigate through all this. What you state doesn't really add up if you don't mind me saying. And there is plenty of good help out there for you.

  186. What do you mean "new premium, $1067 per month?" If you currently qualify for Medicaid based on your income, you will qualify for a large subsidy if your income rises high enough to push you from medicaid to the health care exchange. So please don't mislead people by quoting the rate that would only be charged to someone with a much higher income: that person is not you.

    By the way, what are you now paying through Medicaid? I bet it's a lot less than $428 per month, for far more comprehensive coverage. It sounds to me you owe Obamacare a hearty "thank you."

  187. Insurance is insurance. Why would any insurance company take pre-existing condition people in? That's like a car insurance company willing to sell you a policy that covers your already broken car. Doesn't make any sense!

    So when many people with pre-existing conditions are able to sign up for health insurance now, We the people pay for them. That's just stupid and sick and healthcare inllusion.

  188. Your solution is what, let them die?

  189. Well, it even worse when you realize that insurance companies are just middle-men who have no purpose but to skim money out of the system.
    They have no useful purpose at all.
    They just cost money.

  190. It's not the same as auto insurance. And we're talking about PEOPLE here, of which, presumably, you are one.

    I am happy to help people who are ill. Don't sweep me into your "We the people."

  191. Gallup puts the overall figure for newly insured at 12 million total. What a train wreck......

  192. If 12 million is correct, what about the rest of the 48 million who were not insured? Obama never mentions this figure.
    By my calculations, even if it is 12 million, it's a far cry from 48 million of uninsured Americans.

  193. Nikita--the Gallup survey says that "4%" of people are newly insured but also said that this does not include the # / % that were previously insured but have lost their coverage (so 12MM is not a net figure, and according to the RAND study a few million lost their coverage and did not get replacement coverage through the exchanges or otherwise)

  194. Half of those gained insurance through "some other means", likely employer based. I believe the published numbers were percentages to the tune of 4% of U.S. citizens are newly insured, with 2.1% (roughly half) gaining it through the exchanges. However that exchange number includes folk who discovered that they qualify for Medicaid, or the state equivalent, while on the exchange website. New Medicaid enrollees is estimated to be about 3.6 million. So, we have 6 million off the exchanges and 3.6 of these are Medicare enrollees, means we have about 2.4 million newly insured through the exchanges. This more or less matches what the RAND survey released last week.

  195. We have transformed the most expensive and inefficient health care system in the developed world into the most inefficient and expensive system in the developed world.

    We have improved a few things, such as the ability to get insurance that is not tied to an employer, or restricted because of previous health issues, or subject to termination at the whim of the health insurance companies.

    We will not get a rational system until the politicians are able to stand up to the multiple interests that benefit from the current system:
    health insurance companies
    drug and pharmaceutical companies
    medical equipment companies
    doctors
    hospitals

    Only once the politicians we have elected decide to represent us instead of the economic interests listed above, we will see real improvement.

    I do not have much hope of that ever happening.

  196. El,
    You express great wisdom. Above are the true reasons for so much of the ACA difficulties. They are really the 800 gorilla in the room. There are many there that have too vested of an interest. They are the reason that we do not have a single payer system. Simple example. I was considering changing meds from the VA system to Medicare Part D for hypertensive meds. My VA pharmacist told me that the VA receives competitive bids for atenolol. The price the VA pays is one tenth what Medicare pays for the same generic from the same manufacturer. Why? Part D legislation could only be past on a non-compete basis because of big pharma lobbying. Medicare is required by law to pay retail.

  197. The typical GOP politician spends Sundays in Church hearing about how important Jesus said it is to help the sick and poor unconditionally. Then they spend the next 6 days trying to prevent help from reaching the sick and the poor.

  198. Can I say an AMEN to your comment? Apparently all the family values, Christian loving folks on the right choose to practice supermarket Christianity? You know I will be Christian in this aisle but not this one.

  199. Jesus preached charity, not forced redistribution.

  200. I'm not religious but look at the stats -- Christians give 5x more to charity than non-Christians. There's a lot to criticize them for but your point here falls flat.

  201. only 4% actually paid the premiums? That Obama has to come out every week about what a success this is, is a guarantee it is a disaster and he is lying again

  202. That's not true. Either you made it up or you heard it on Fox News. Which is basically the same thing.

  203. Sure wish the NYT reporters would write just one positive article celebrating the successes of the ACA without also filling the article with all the "but's" from the naysayers who have gotten nothing correct so far!

    The American people are craving for some good news these days, and what a better way to begin than with the announcement that millions of Americans who never had a chance at health care will now get it. Thank you, President Obama, Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebilius, the tech wizards, and many others for bringing some humanity and compassion into our lives.

  204. Today's announcement was truly bizarre. Everybody wants to know about Ukraine as evidenced by the first question for the President. Seems like he was trying to distract us all from the real news. Oh, and if you know that 35% of the enrollees are under 35 why not release all the demographic numbers? What are you hiding?

  205. Funny, I thought everyone wanted to hear about how the ACA was failing to meet it's enrollment goals. That's what Fox News was insisting a few months ago; I can't imagine why the loyal opposition would suddenly want to change the subject.

  206. You read like many of those who were against initiations of social security and Medicare.

  207. I've read all the comments here so far (about 135). Not one of the detractors has offered even a single alternative to any part of the ACA. They are 100% invested in repealing it and going back to the way things were before. The Republicans controlled all branches of government for six years, from 2001-to 2007. Their health-care plan: nothing. During the ACA debate, Democrats begged for Republican input, so that they could claim bi-partisan support. The result: nothing. The current congress has voted to repeal it over 50 times. Their alternative: nothing.

    On the left, people are wanting single payer. That may not happen, but at least it's part of the conversation. Detractors: you got nothing.

  208. But if the old system was better, which a majority believe, then isn't it the better plan? Just because it's the same system doesn't mean it's no system. If the new plan turns out to make things worse then of course you go back to the system that worked better even if not perfect.

  209. Republicans will never admit it's working. Saying it's not is their raison d'etre.

  210. I will happily admit its working when the premium data is released. If premiums rise only slightly or drop from current year levels, indicating that it will consume a lower proportion of our GDP, I will buy an Obamacare T-shirt and where it with pride.

  211. If this thing is working, to quote President Obama, then how come the 48 million of Americans who could not afford insurance and were NOT insured prior to the inception of ACA.
    By my math, there are over 40 million Americans who are still uninsured for one reason or another. What's up with this?

  212. The first thing that is wrong with this is that it starts with a little fact saying that 35% of the people that signed up were under the age of 35, which countered the prediction that it would attract mainly older and sicker people. I'm sorry but I don't believe that 35% is a counter to a majority. A majority to me is over 50%. I think that Obama came up with all sorts of statistics that favored his lacking plan to ensue mild communism on our nation.

  213. Then it goes on to say only 28% are young people on their own plans, which is the target market needed to make it work. Even the 35% is not a real number.

  214. "ensue mild communism"?
    Thank goodness he didn't try to inflict modest education.

  215. The reason why the ACA is as unpopular as it is, is that many people believe that it doesn't go nearly far enough. That is, many of us would like to see a public option at the least, and ideally a single-payer nationalized healthcare system. Equating the healthcare system of Canada with Communism seems really strange to me.

  216. With all the hype about the "millions" of the under 26s who are staying on their parents policies, why is this a good thing? This is a big deal because everyone under 26 is facing a cramped future and many just cant afford to go live in their own. Shouldn't somebody somewhere be thinking instead about how to rebuild an economy that will let adults 21 and over get and afford their own health insurance?

    Not everybody under 26 has living parents, or living parents who are insured and even have a policy to put them on. Maybe mom and dad are already on Medicare. They're on their own.

  217. Too much easy money to be made soaking them with high-interest college loans and, for those who CAN move out, rent.

  218. Now if only those 8 million would show up to vote in November

  219. The problem with this is that the 8 million includes people whose policies were cancelled, who can no longer access their doctors, whose deductibles are prohibitively high, etc.

    It's one thing to deny the existence of these people. It's quite another to prevent them from voting.

  220. It's very simple. Where in the Constitution and the Separation of Powers Clause does President Obama has the legislative authority to challenge any part of the Affordable Care Act.
    I also want you to show me the court case that gave him the authority, the name of the case, when it was decided and who wrote the majority opinion. There is none. He is violating the Constitution.
    I would next like any liberal to show me where Obama has the legislative authority to force insurance companies to reissue previously cancelled policies for 2 years, policies that Obama and every liberal pundit and scribe called "substandard" And given the fact that insurance executives indicated that it would create an enormous financial burden, why did Obama do this?
    Now, Obama is changing the law again. Now he has created a hardship exemption that people can apply for to avoid having to pay outrageous premiums.
    Isn't it ironic that the only one's who have the figures are the Obama White House. Why don't they release them? For 6 months Jay Carney never seemed to have the numbers available but suddenly, as the deadline approached? Then they magically were able to produce them.
    OK, how many signed up for Medicare? How many people who did not have insurance before? How many that had a policy but switched? They won't tell us. This from the most transparent administration ever.
    How many will lose coverage once the employer mandate starts?
    A success? Anything can succeed if you flaunt the Constitution.

  221. Really, do you in fact believe it is unconstitutional or is it just your fantasy? Do you have any doubt that Pubs wouldn't have successfully filed injunctions already if in fact they knew the delays were unconstitutional and they could be successful? The administrative branch has always had implementation leeway thank heaven. Try a constitutional suit yourself, John and Mitch already know how successful that would be even with SC control. Are there problems with ACA? Definitely, but it is overwhelmingly helpful to far more that it harms. No one can be denied for pre-existing conditions or medically uprated for arbitrary reasons. No caps on your family members for a catastrophic disease.

  222. Why does the idea of your fellow citizens getting the care they need bother you so much?

    If you think the ACA is such a bad idea, why haven't you and the party you support come up with anything better?

  223. Please, yelling "constitution" and screaming about strict construction isn't an argument, it's a screed. Come up with some facts.

  224. Now that the bombastic ACA marketplace hyperbole from the anti-Obama crowd has shown itself to be hogwash, when will the other major canard be exposed - the case against Medicaid expansion?

    Our red state governors would have you believe that they are turning down 100% federal funding because of a day far in the future when their state would be responsible for a 10% match. The fact remains that the citizens of these red states are paying 100% of their share of ACA funding. So, don't believe the gibberish about turning down "federal dollars". All that these red state governors are doing is allowing their state's citizens to fund blue state Medicaid expansion. Talk about taxation without representation!

  225. In California, 1.5 million enrolled in Medi-Cal (Medicare) and 1.4 million enrolled in a Covered California plan in which 88% are receiving subsidies.

    That means out of 2.9 million enrollees, 88% of them are receiving either 'free' or subsidized care, meaning just 348,000 of the 2.9 million are actually fully paying their own way.

    Like any Ponzi scheme, this boondoggle will collapse under its own weight without a huge taxpayer bailout. Its a good guess that the federal exchange percentage numbers are similar to California's.

  226. So tell me why you believe it is better for people to go without healthcare than to receive subsidized help. Tell me why you think that I as a woman should pay more for healthcare than you because you are male. Tell me why my granddaughter's asthma should preclude her from receiving insurance coverage.

  227. So who was paying for their healthcare before they got insurance, the tooth fairy?

  228. From the American College of Emergency Physicians:The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) is a federal law that requires anyone coming to an emergency department to be stabilized and treated, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay, but since its enactment in 1986 has remained an unfunded mandate.

    I appreciate that Conservatives think that poor people simply go off to suffer and die quietly and inexpensively, but it doesn't really turn out that way. Since 1986, the uninsured have always been subsidized, but the subsidies were hidden as non-reimbursed emergency services.

    Under ACA, most contribute something, better than nothing, and since theoretically everyone has access to preventative care, people will get treatment sooner when symptoms are less severe and less costly to treat.

    Part of the premium subsidies are paid for by eliminating some or all of unfunded EMTALA costs, which should show up as reduced global premiums.
    Part of the subsides are paid for by having a mandate that requires all people, including healthy ones, to carry insurance. Another part of the subsidy is paid for through tax dollars.

    If you wish to complain about a mandate, you should complain about mandated SERVICE: EMTALA, not ACA. ACA simply requires that everyone pay for the protections guaranteed by EMTALA.

    Its not perfect, but it's no boondoggle.

  229. An observation from a Canadian perspective. I simply do not understand why the US government did not adopt an amended versiion of your medicare system that now covers senior citizens to include all. Aparently, the existing medicare program works. It is beyond my comprehension why the US opted for a convoluted, private scheme, that does not provide a uniform level of benefits.

    I have lived under Canada's single-payer system since its inception in the 1960s. It is far from perfect, but I really appreciate what we have when I see what is occuring south of the border.

  230. You know what? Neither do I. My guess is sheer stubbornness and unwillingness to admit that another country might have figured it out first and better. Sad.

  231. It's very simple. The insurance companies line the pockets of all of our politicians and they don't want to give up insurance based health care. There are countries that use that kind of system and also have strong cost controls but the American insurance companies certainly don't want that. That's why we have this kluged together system.

  232. Dear C.:

    The answer is simple. The majority in the House or Representatives would never have voted for such a thing. It would have been far too smart, far too beneficial to the electorate and therefore far too dangerous a thing for one party to allow the president of the other party to achieve.

  233. Of course most of us have made the decision to sign on with the 'Affordable Care Act' largely due to the threat of charges, fines, penalties & general bullying to be imposed by the federal government if we don't comply with set regulations. Hardly what I consider to be a great success. Luckily I live in a state that is providing alternative insurance options. My premium is just over 1/4 of that offered on the federal website. And I don't have to fear the IRS. Oh, and the IRS will now hold my medical records? Unbelievable. This is not the 'freedom' that I have known as an American.

  234. I'm not in love with the healthcare law either, Susan, mainly because I wanted single payer, but the costs are manageable and it will probably result in far fewer preventable deaths and medical bankruptcies in this country. What structure were you hoping for?

  235. Please tell us where you get your information that the IRS will hold your medical records? Is the same as the death panels touted by the Tea Party? Tell me where your freedom is curtailed because of the Act. Do you drive a car and have insurance? Do you own an house and have insurance? Are you a professional in a field that requires a license to practice? Are all of these against freedom?
    I am assuming you are an educated person with the ability to reason and critical thinking and who can do research. Alas listening to folks like you who seem to get your talking points from the Koch brothers and Faux news I have come to understand and accept that blind hate trumps education and reason.

  236. May be you prefer the freedom of paying a 100,000$ out of pocket? Tthe federal website led you to the state insurance plans for Colorado which have nothing to do with the federal government. And...do you really think the IRS is interested in your medical records?

  237. My wife is finally covered! Thank you President Obama.
    To the congressman who represents the gerrymangled district where I live, Robert Pittenger (R-NC) you have voted time and again to repeal it. What is wrong with you? Do you hate us that much?

  238. I hope you contact him directly and ask him this.

    I'm glad your wife has health care now.

  239. The GOPers know this ACA is wholly unaffordable for the country. We need something economically sustainable since we have almost doubled the national debt since this genius became president.

  240. The answer is yes, the people who vote against it do hate you that much. You failed at life because you aren't rich. And the reason they wouldn't expand medicaid was because working class people might actually get decent health care that way and thank the Dems. One thing you can always count on is that if the Republicans claim the Dems do it, they are probably lying (think death panels) and at the same time that's what they want to do. In this case the real death panel is refusing people medicaid who can't afford regular insurance.

  241. I think it's time to stop nitpicking about the numbers and start discussing how to make ACA really "affordable" and there is enough "care" in it. I guess Obama knew right from the start that once he sets the ball rolling on ACA the only thing that can happen to it is change, refinement or better adaptation but never a repeal. There are too many lives at stake now, which is precisely what I think Obama wanted to achieve- numbers under ACA.
    I wish the congress and senate will try to make it work better rather than waste their time efforts in repealing it anymore. May be Republicans will make it so good it will be remembered not as Obamacare but as Cruzcare or Rubiocare or just ACA- Act for Care of Americans.

  242. This is a good start. Now much more needs to be done to make sure health care truly is affordable. Maybe the Republican governors can now stop harming the citizens of their own states in the name of ideology by expanding Medicaid and facilitating health exchanges.

    As an aside, the negative comments to this article bear a strange resemblance to the comments from global climate change denialists - flawed logic, flawed use of statistics and ad hominem attacks.

  243. But I thought this was called the Affordable Care Act? Now you tell me health care (or did you mean insurance?) is still not affordable? I was promised a 25% premium decrease! What happened? And please don't try to blame the other party who didn't cast one vote for it or had no say in writing the must-pass-it-to-see-what's-in-it bill?

  244. Rita, consider rationally the reasons not to expand Medicaid. You're from California so surely you understand budget constraints and municipal bankruptcy. State's that expand Medicaid will get federal fund that cover costs for s short period but then more of the burden falls on state budget. Take a look at budgetary pie charts and see the size that goes to Medicare and Medicaid. It's not a financially sound decision and every economist will tell you Medicare/Medicaid is insolvent and faces a coming crisis of funding.

    That's why they call them fiscal conservatives.

  245. Will journalists please stop using the cliche "victory lap" and the cliche "signature" legistlation to describe Obama's satisfaction and relief over the apparent success of the first phase of the health care reform and his sponsorship of the legislation in the first place. I am quite sick of reading these hackneyed words and phrases. Also, please stop attributing everything that happens in the U.S. Government to "the Obama Administration." Since Obama became president, we have ceased to have a government or any executive departments. Everything has to be credited to or blamed on the "Obama Administration." Search it and compare the results with how many times it's been used compared to "Clinton Administration" or "Bush Adminstration." The difference is astonishing. Then ask yourself, "why?"

  246. Progress, progress, progress! I find it very difficult to go negative about anything that is life and choice affirming and feel fortunate to have that outlook.

  247. This is a great program. Governments run programs that cost us all money, but since none of us actually pay it, it just gets added to a deficit account somewhere, we think it is working. This is the first government plan I've seen that has an actual price tag attached to it, that immediately goes to the average working family.

    I wish all government programs worked like that. You think we should be in Iraq? Wonderful. Guess what? Your share of the Iraq bill works out to $400 per month. Start paying next month or we will tax you. Guess how many people would want the US to go to war if they actually had to pay for it? I don't think too many.

    This program might or might not be good. Too early to tell. But, if more people are helped by it than hurt by it, then the Dems have a chance of not being hurt. If it is the other way around, and it sure seems to be that way right now, if more people are hurt, if more working families see their premiums leap up by hundreds of dollars a month then they will be, and should be, kicked out en masse.

    However, if the subsidies just get bigger and bigger until it is all net neutral, then we're back to how things usually work, with no price tag. But, the insurance companies will be laughing with glee, as they will have jacked up their prices significantly, and it all gets subsidized by the government.

  248. "This is a great program. Governments run programs that cost us all money"........Isn't disinformation wonderful? Most people still think ACA is a government program that will add to the deficit. Wrong. In fact according the nonpartisan CBO, ACA will reduce the Federal Deficit by $!0 billion dollars over the next ten years. Of course if your not interested in reducing the deficit and you don't care if you can't get health insurance if you have a preexisting condition, by all means continue to bash Obamacare.

  249. So if we have invested $2 trillion and have added 1% of the citizens who were not previously insured, are you ready to call that a success?
    You COULD ask the Prez why he and his crew designed the plan this way to give so much to the insurers, if they upset you.

  250. Hey W.A., should I be able to get car insurance after I get in an accident? Or homeowners insurance after my house burns down? The ACA is welfare, not insurance.

  251. And magically just like that:

    "Health care spending has risen more slowly than at any time in the last 40 years,” Mr. Obama said.

    So it is written, so it is said......

  252. Health care spending naturally slows during an economic recession. It slowed the three years before ACA was enacted, corresponding wit h the recession and increased unemployment.

  253. Have you noticed those creating the most stir against Obama care are those with great wealth who have insurance? Additionally, there are some critics on Cable braying against Obama care whilst sitting in wheel chairs, and still knocking other's rights to have decent medical options. What a country; my country tis of thee.

  254. Wrong. I'm just a poor guy from Iowa who knows socialism when he sees it.

  255. Of course it's the haves who oppose Obama. Socialists always steal from productive working people. The lazy and irresponsible don't have anything.

  256. The problem about the UCA is not not wanting those that want or need it to have medical care but the forcing of everyone regardless of what they want to have it or be taxed some more and sorry bubby but me and most I know and work with are living pay day to payday because of the economy and in no way can afford this UCA if want to keep paying rent and eating

  257. Sorry but I and the rest of the non sycophant Americans have every reason to doubt the presidents voracity on these numbers. Not to mention an unprecedented myriad of other statements and statistics as well.

  258. I congratulate on being so clear-eyed to see the truth other could not.

  259. I agree with you - these numbers don't look very hungry at all. I, too, doubt their voracity.

  260. "voracity"!! lol. You need an education, not health care.

  261. My son has coverage for the first time in 10 years! My med-school daughter is covered through her 4th year! I am delighted. I hope that people are beginning to understand that it's patriotic to enroll -- by enrolling and caring for your health, you are helping every other American, because your health matters to our country's overall care costs and workplace productivity. It's not an intuitive concept to "get," but it's true. When you are healthier, you lessen the negative impact of overall health care costs on your income, your employer, your county, your state. So USE your plans. Quit smoking, if you can. Get pre-natal care! Get counseling. Have a chest x-ray. Go for easy cancer screenings. You may incur higher costs to begin with, but if you stop your diabetes in its tracks, address early heart disease, catch breast cancer, or protect your unborn baby, you'll be doing your bit to save all Americans from the care costs that result when you ignore yourself. And, oh yeah, you'll be HEALTHIER. Save yourself, and everyone else, from the high cost of preventable or stoppable illness.

  262. Mo, good for you and your family. As a parent I'd like to add that you are teaching the best way, by example, what personal responsibility really means.

  263. Won' matter how health anyone is the premiums will still go up and the care you are paying for and hoping never to need will not be there - so basically you are paying for a pig in a poke and getting an empty poke for all you pay. While paying the exorbitant premiums remember yo also need to figure how to pay your rent buy groceries , gas, electricity, clothes and hide enough money away to cover the deductible should you actually get sick enough to qualify for medical help

  264. Doesn't under 35 include a ton of children under 18 that finally got on Medicaid?

  265. Good question, and if so then the numbers will not reflect the true number needed to support it since these will be inflated to the number that enrolled.

  266. These figures do not include the Medicaid sign-ups, which were processed by the States or, more accurately, by those States that did not opt out of extended Medicaid coverage. (The 20+ opt-out states refused to insure their working power even though the feds were paying 95% of the costs.)

  267. 28% of the enrollees on the exchanges are between 18 and 34.

  268. The biggest leap of faith into the unknown many people will take today is reading Mr. Obama's words and trying to believe anything he says. For a man who repeatedly and knowingly lied the entire time this scheme has been a proposed law and now a law, how dare anyone believe a thing he says?

    You could ask Margaret Figueroa, whose insurance plan just faded out on covering her chemotherapy for her brain cancer. He situation just hit the credible media today. She may have been suckered by the sales pitch from the Huckster-in-Chief as well.

    If we are adding a million a month to O-care, go do some math and tell me how long adding all 330 million people will take.

    Oh, yeah, and he says he is going to mount a new $4 billion green energy giveaway soon; perhaps some bundlers and donors of his gave his new fundraising non-profit enough that they now qualify for their bite of the apple like all the Soyndras did a few years ago. My forecast: 150 jobs, none of which will still exist th day he moves out of office or the day Holder is indicted, whichever comes first.

  269. Given your suggestion that there is a necessity to getting "all 330 million" Americans to obtain health insurance through the exchanges, which are intended only for those in the private market (that is, people who can't participate in a group plan), it's difficult to take any of your statements seriously.

  270. Steve Ky suggests , an apparent hardcore Repub, wants all Americans to be covered. Wonderful!
    With Repub support, single-payer universal coverage would be achievable.

  271. "That the young people were going to pay for the old people." That was all hog wash. This is basically an insurance program being run by the insurance industry. They are going to charge every age group an appropriate amount of money to insure they make a profit after paying for their claims. It's that simple.

  272. Insurance companies are mad cause of future profit they are going to lose. Even though government is giving them customers for multiple lifetimes. They are not happy they want to charge high prices for useless products that dont add value to society. They were also behind the campaign to destroy ACA even after a huge compromise. I am still for singlepayer system. Health and profit margin never a good mix. Somehow the patient always loses.

  273. The ACA restricts insurance companies from charging older patients more than 3 times what they charge younger patients. Without that restriction, Gail Wilensky estimates that ratio would be 5-to-1. This means about 25%-30% of youngsters premiums are really subsidizing oldsters care. Of course you are correct that the insurance companies are going to make a profit on all age groups.

  274. Why must we continue to argue about these numbers? The numbers seem encouraging; but we need the patience to let this law work, to allow it to mature. It took years for Medicare to become the efficient and effective service that we enjoy today. Patience, People.

  275. Difference is Medicare did not take money out of our pockets on monthly basis and leave us with a deductible that was unaffordable- and NO ONE HAD TO sign up for Medicare under threat of IRS taxing them more if they didn't

  276. westwyre,

    Social Security works on the basis of taking money out of your pockets on a monthly basis. People seem to like it quite a bit.

    Your rationale is ridiculous. But if you want to keep pressing this point, take it to the Republicans who came up with the idea of the individual mandate. That was a central pillar of the Heritage Foundation plan that was the basis for the ACA.

  277. My 25 year old son was one. He had health insurance that I paid for, but as a struggling artist of limited income he qualified for a good subsidy. So now he pays less than $75/mo, instead of me paying $180/mo, which would have ended when he turned 26 in May

  278. He pays 75 a month, us taxpayers pick up the rest.

  279. Joe He is paying $75 a month and he will probably stay healthy. But if he didn't have insurance and ended up in the emergency room, who would pay his medical bills? You would. Now $75 a month is not enough to cover a trip to ER and somebody else with insurance will end up having to paying the rest, but at $75 a month he is at least paying something.

  280. And where do you think the money comes from to pay the subside? SO instead of looking for real work your struggling artist will continue to feed of the rest of us and of course since yo no longer have to pay out of your immediate pocket you think it is good ( yep you still paying taxes but since like subsides bet you don't pay much)

  281. When a society is providing the basics of life; food, shelter, safety and healthcare to all of it's members, it is giving all those members some measure of responsibility for the well-being of that society. That will be the enduring power of President Obama's ACA.

    This is not a small thing for the US where a virulent form of anti-government hatred seethes in plain view in the so-called "patriot" movement and in so many other places.

  282. You are kidding- how is this providing any of what you say for all the members-last I looked it was taking everything away from many to cater to a few and hoping to add more to the few for more votes

  283. Still lots of things that can happen, but this is a first real good sign. Poll released a few weeks ago showed that the percentage of uninsure had dropped almost 4% and with the latest surge in new enrolles that number might be a little short. For the last four years increase in Health Care Costs have been limited to less than 4% per year as opposed to 8-10% per year. If you are a deficit hawk the simple fact is that until you tackle health care there is no chance of ever balancing a Federal Budget. Obama took it on. We complain about politician who refuse to do the hard things. Some of it wasn't pretty but we are alot better off today than we were four years ago. It is worth noting that he inherited a government that was running a deficit of 1.4 trillion per year. The latest estimate for 2015 is 450 billion

  284. Note - estimate - everything is estimates and with the shell game the democrats are playing with the UCA U can bet until the country goes under we will never know what the real numbers are at least not as long as Obama is in WH and the Democrats and media keep spewing their funny math

  285. westwyre,

    How about Bush's shell game of hiding trillions of dollars of war costs off-budget?

  286. How many of these young adults are paying premiums and how many are getting subsidies or free HC?

  287. Does he realize how pitiful and incredible he looks as long as he refuses to talk about real number - number on uninsured who paid for coverage and have it now? Will his handlers not whisper something in his ear? As long as he talks about "signups" he will be laughed at. Just like politicians with horrible comb-overs and no one around them brave enough to tell them how absurd they look (remember Guliani and Levin?).....

  288. You are badly mistaken about the state of American politics. Critics of the ACA are simply not listening to anything the White House says about health care. If you think a real number of newly insured persons could quiet the ACA's opponents, you are naïve.

  289. John - the people who already made up their mind won't change their opinion. its the people in the middle that have to be convinced. And if you think avoiding the hard facts and changing the definitions will get that done, then you are the one who is naïve.

  290. Missing in this facts and figures that although important and impressive are the much more important statistics.
    Before the ACA, the number of un-insurable: millions
    After the ACA, the number of un-insurable: zero

    Number of people whose health care is improved in a myriad of parts of the ACA (and Recovery Act): Every single American
    * From massive investments in electronic medical records which is leading to better monitoring of health, better medical studies, and faster, more efficient care
    * Eventual shrinking of the donut hole coverage of senior's drug coverage
    * Lower infection rates due to upcoming changes in billing (hospitals will be dinged for having patients readmitted in part because of capitation
    * More insured patients means more potential volunteers for drug and other medical studies

    The numbers of uninsured was always made to sound like it was a solid number. In fact, as people changed jobs and for other reasons they would go in and out of coverage. And that number of people who might be uninsured if only for a few weeks meant that the number of uninsured during the whole year might be more than double. And for even a week of being uninsured was a potential life threatening and bankruptcy causing time. Most survived it, but this transition period is now a thing of the past.

    Eight million signed up is just the tip of the ice berg. It is over three hundred million who are benefiting from improved care and finally affordable.

  291. All excellent points. You made me also to consider the great tech change we didn't have before, the internet. In your post you have outlined all the work still needed to be done. This work can easily be the careers for thousands of people, just to clear out the junk from our current system. With great returns as a result. Yes, as you say, "the tip of the iceberg."

  292. Not sure how you figure this is Affordable unless of course you are one of those that get it all back end of year or do not have to pay in the first place- Sorry $400 or more a month with $5-6000 deductible is not what most folks would call affordable unless you are one of the DC elite that exempted themselves from this UCA

  293. I agree with much of your argument, but not with any of your bullet points. Note:

    The Times has run several articles and an editorial indicating that the computerization of medical records has not been successful. (type computerization medical records in the search box)

    Seniors are covered by Medicare, not the ACA. They could buy dual insurance but that would be expensive.

    Dinging hospitals for re-admission would likely lead to their sending former patients elsewhere rather than eliminating infections

    You volunteer for a study if you've run out of treatment options or if you want the money. Volunteering has no relation to being insured.

  294. After a long and twisted road we're covered, which is good, but we were covered anyway with a much less expensive catastrophic plan and the added cost is a financial burden. One thing I'm seeing is a narrow provider network even when it doesn't seem like there'd be a finance difference. For example, despite that it's from the largest health insurer in our state Walgreen's doesn't accept our plan but CVS does. Since I can't imagine the reimbursement rates are very different, if they're different at all, that makes me think the insurers are purposefully eliminating providers. The web-based doctor lookup also doesn't work for specialists; it doesn't say it's broken but there are never results. So we around to find one that accepts our insurance (eventually we find a doctor's receptionist who says "that Obamacare plan is accepted by Dr. ______."). On a positive note we've had lots of screenings and checkups, almost all paid for without much complaining by our insurance company. It's close to the corporate policies I remember but with a substantially higher price tag.

  295. You were covered, or thought you were, by a catastrophic plan, but maybe you hadn't yet tested it by actually having an expensive health care catastrophe. Before ObamaCare, insurance companies could force sick people off their insurance by jacking the premium up to an unpayable level. Happened to a woman I knew who got breast cancer. The insurance company jacked her premium up to a level higher than her income. And no other insurer would write her new coverage because now she had a pre-existing condition.
    So, you thought you had insurance, but did you really have it?
    Under Obamacare, insurance companies can't jack up premiums on sick people any more, or deny them coverage because they have a pre-existing condition. They have to sell real insurance that takes care of you if you get sick.

  296. Ellen, that's very speculative on your part. Those of us that had affordable catastrophic plan s for years know exactly what is covered, what the deductibles are and what the out of pocket maximums are. And we chose those plans year after year because it's a good fit. I wouldn't recommend it to someone with children, elderly, or the I'll. But it's great for youngish healthy people. Your speculation is far off base and from a position lacking specific knowledge or experience.

  297. Michael and JBD, you didn't have insurance before the ACA passed. You had an insurance plan. There's a big difference. Before the ACA passed, the insurance plan was revokable at any time should the insurance company have discovered a "pre-existent condition", which might have been revealed by a test your doctor ordered. Insurance companies were hiring head hunters to kick people off of insurance for newly discovered "pre-existent conditions." People who got genetic tests suddenly discovered that they couldn't get any insurance owing to a suddenly-discovered "pre-existent condition."

    Now your insurance can't be revoked on the basis of the small print in your policy or a decision by the insurer not to cover you any more. That's insurance.

  298. Obama says - does the times do their own fact checking or is it Obama says so it's the truth. One day the ral figures of how many signed up on website and how many purchased and how many only made payments for a month or two and let's not forget how many are freebies.

  299. If you are seriously interested in the ACA, read the reports by Rand or McKinsey on ACA enrollment, or from Gallup on insured population. These are sources independent of the White House, but they are all pointing to fairly modest increases in insured persons (between 10 and 15 million more covered under Medicaid, parents' plans, or private insurers). Skepticism is healthy. Ignoring all available evidence is silly.

  300. Don't believe a word he or any of his administration say nor do I believe what the Republicans say. They have mastered the art of lies and deception, both parties in Washington. Sad time for America.

  301. The GOP internal polling by Dick Morris still shows Mitt Romney winning the election by "almost a landslide."

    If the Republicans weren't so pathetic, they'd be on Comedy Central.

  302. Since Barack is already declaring victory how about rescinding the delay in announcing the 2015 insurance policy rates. Why not announce them in October so you can give the voters a good idea of whether all the hot-air coming out of the WH is true or not before the election.
    Oh, I forgot, with the smaller number of young subsidizing the greater number of old and sickly the rates in 2015 will be double digit increases. The chance of Barack providing voters with this information before November is as likely as DeBlasio enrolling his kids in Charter Schools.

  303. Many people have seen double digit annual insurance price increases. Of course, I'm talking about BEFORE the ACA was written, but you knew that, right?

  304. Of course they have the information. Insurance companies, in the Real World, live and die with statistics. The Most Transparent Presidency In American History will certainly hide the painful facts until after Americans have voted.

  305. The Republicans were very, very afraid that Obamacare would be a success and eventually popular. That is why they tried everything they could to prevent its getting off the ground, including a government shutdown. They lost big time, and I for one am glad.

  306. No what they are afraid of is what has and will happen as premiums go up faster then ever did before and the IRS takes your money for not having what you don't want or need doubt many single men need prenatal or maternity and of course everyone that has never had a drug or alcohol problem needs the coverage for rehab
    The only good thing in this UCA is the pre-existing conditions- the rest is nothing but a gov't grab for more of our hard earned money and independeance

  307. It must be a bummer to be a conservative and hear this favorable news.

    Its also a bummer as a citizen to have so many of these folks hoping and praying that this attempt to improve the worlds worst health care system fails.

  308. Interesting our health care is the worlds worst according to you yet people come from all around the world to this worst health care to be treated when their home and other country's healthcare can't do what they need. Yep the worst- Next time you are sick , since it is so bad head to Canada and see how well that goes for you

  309. A good day for America is a bad day for the GOP.

  310. westwyre,

    Sam was surely exaggerating. America's health care is not the world's worst. It is simply among the worst in the pool of advanced countries. There are factually-based rankings that can assess these things. Really.

  311. Why would anyone expect the enrollment in the FIRST YEAR to reach all 50 million uninsured Americans? It's well on the way, but give it several more years.

    Meanwhile we improve the law; meanwhile, I have a feeling, the cries of the doubters and naysayers will dwindle and go toward something more constructive.

  312. be interesting to se how long the numbers keep getting fudged to make the UCA look like something that works I'd bet a weeks pay once the elections in Nov are over no matter if this phoney math helps the Democrats in the Senate and we are still stuck with the Reid con they will reverse again and if the left loses they will blame the reversal on as always everyone but themselves and their phoney baloney- as for the comments on this obviously all are Democrats no Independents and for sure no GOP.
    Amazing how all the numbers are suddenly all right at least the ones Obama talks about but reality will catch up

  313. I am of a divided mind about this. As usual, the devil is in the details. Clearly, the ACA is better that what was in place before, i.e. nothing. But it is deeply flawed: consider these facts:
    1. While many formerly uninsured people now have insurance, many of these policies have ridiculously high deductibles e.g., $6,000/person and $12,000/person. How can folks who could not afford health insurance before afford to pay these amounts out of pocket?
    2. The ACA covers screening colonoscopies. However, if a polyp is removed (removal of pre-malignant polyps before they develop into full-blown cancers is one of the best reasons to have a colonoscopy,) the colonoscopy is now defined as therapeutic, and, as such, is not covered. Such is the wisdom of having politicians and insurance companies develop clinical guidelines.
    3. In my area of the country, primary care doctors who see ACA patients are paid about the same as they are for patients of the insurance carriers sponsoring the plan. However, payment for specialists is at the level of Medicaid, which means that every ACA patient seen by a specialist is a financial loss. The primary care doctors have no specialists to refer these patients to.

    One poster mentioned that no alternatives had been proposed. Here's one: single payer, like in every other Western industrial democracy. So simple, but impossible because of American exceptionalism.

  314. You are mistaken about how health care works in other countries - many others (like France, Germany, Japan) have some form of compulsory insurance, though the plans are mostly simpler than the ACA (and place more restrictions on insurance companies). I do not believe the ACA places such strict limits on specialists - I was just billed $190 for a simple appointment with my rheumatologist. Last, the days of plans with no-deductible or deductibles under $1000 are really in the past. No one wants to have to meet a $6000 deductible, but it is much better than going into bankruptcy because of a $20000 hospital stay.

  315. Haven't believed Obama in many years now. In any case, the worst eventuality is that this monstrosity would be forced into continuing existence. Just plain bad policy, bad for economy, bad for health care quality. And no, I'm not a Republican. But this party that Obama has taken over is no longer my Democratic party.

  316. Lawrence,
    I don't believe for a minute that you are a Democrat. And I doubt that you ever believed the president, who has only been in office for five years. As a right-winger, you were committed in advance not to believe anything a successful Democratic president said. If the president says that the sun is shining in response to the intersubjectively verifiable fact that the sun is shining, you still would not believe him.

    However, here in the world of factual reality, your assessments of the ACA appear so vague, sketchy, and dishonest, that it's easy to disbelieve anything you say.