Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Lot To Crow About

7,000,000 and counting!

Facing a midnight deadline for open enrollment under the ACA the Obama administration proudly announced that they have reached their goal of 7,000,000 enrollees. That is quite a feat given the horrible rollout of the ACA website and the constant criticism from the naysayers on the right.

Even as millions of Americans let out a sigh of relief that knowing that they no longer had to fear going broke just because they got sick, critics on the right refused to give the president a win. “It’s really not much to crow about” said Marsha Blackburn (Rep.-TN).

Ok! How about this…

The Los Angeles Times reports that according to a new survey conducted by the non-profit Rand Corporation:

-"The Affordable Care Act represents the largest expansion of health care coverage since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965."

-“At least 6 million people have signed up for coverage in the new marketplaces…one third of which were previously uninsured.”

-“4.5 previously uninsured individuals have signed up for coverage under state run Medicaid programs.” (These numbers would be significantly higher if not for the refusal 14 Republican governors to accept Medicaid expansion in their states. Tis better to allow your constituents to risk bankruptcy than to hand the president a political victory.”)

-“3 million young adults have taken advantage of the law’s provision that allows dependent children to stay on their parents’ policy until they reach the age of 26.”

-“9 million Americans have purchased coverage directly from health insurance companies instead of using the new marketplaces.”

-“Less than one million people who had health plans in 2013 are now uninsured because their plans were cancelled for not complying with the new standards set by the law.”

-“The share of adults ages 18-24 without health insurance has declined from 20.9% last fall to 16.6% as of March 22.”
According to the National Statistics Group, health care spending grew by 3.7% in 2012; the lowest rate of growth in the past decade. It marked the first time that health care spending grew at a slower rate that the economy.

The stated goals of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are: “to insure that all Americans have access to affordable quality health care…create transformation within the health care system to contain costs…provide coverage for more than 94% of Americans…bending the health care cost curve…and reducing the deficit over the next ten years and beyond.”

Based on the numbers…it would appear that the administration has a great deal to crow about.

We have noted that there is still a long way to go to smooth out all the rough edges in this law. But no matter what the future may hold this much is certain.

President Barak Obama is the first president willing to stake his presidency and his legacy on tackling the health care crisis in this country.

For that he should be applauded…not vilified.

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