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Republicans seemed positively gleeful that “only” 40,000 people signed up on in its first month. House Speaker John Boehner released a statement saying “Above all, this report is a symbol of the failure of the president’s health care law. It is a rolling calamity that must be scrapped.” Senator Marco Rubio called the numbers “abysmal” and said they are “another early warning sign that this legislation … ultimately cannot be fixed.”

First of all, 40,000 people gaining health insurance, often for the first time, is good news. Especially considering the problems with the website, that’s pretty amazing.

Second of all, that number only includes those states that decided not to run their own health insurance exchange. If you include the state exchanges, that number is 106,000 (and a few states are not reporting numbers yet). The states that embraced Obamacare are doing much better.

Third, it does not include people who signed up for expanded Medicaid coverage under Obamacare. At least 440,000 people have signed up for Medicaid through Obamacare. That means that (in total) over half a million people have benefitted from Obamacare in the first month alone.

And finally, one should remember that in the first month of Romneycare in Massachusetts, a whopping 123 people signed up.

UPDATE: According to PolitiFact, Medicare Part D — the GOP’s signature health care plan in 2006 — suffered many of the same problems during rollout as Obamacare. I agree with pollster John Zogby when he points out that the Republicans are spending all their time gloating and mocking, rather than helping to fix any problems that come up during the rollout. What jerks.



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    I noticed in the AP statistics, Massachusetts did not give statistics. Since everyone in Massachusetts had to be on before, they wouldn’t have many new enrollees. Young people hitting 26.
    I live in NEW York state. Insurance hasn’t been mandatory until now. The number of uninsured is very high. Must be mandatory. With the expansion of Medicaid, all the low earners will be covered finally.

    Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 6:55 am | Permalink
  2. TJ wrote:

    What is the deadline, March or so? Who cares when people sign up as long as they do by the deadline?

    In fact, it’s a big decision. I would be happy to hear reports that people are using their time to try to weigh their options so they choose the right plan.

    Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink
  3. PatriotSGT wrote:

    TJ as I understand (this hard to understand law)if people sign up by Dec 15th they will be covered beginning 1 Jan. I’m not really sure what happens to those who sign up after the 15th or when their coverage can/will start. The sooner we get everyone signed up the sooner this mess will straighten out and the sooner we’ll see the benefit of the larger pools with both healthy and not people and see premiums head downward. The longer they wait to sign up the longer there will be instability and rising rates as it’s presumed the less healthy will sign up first, which will make rates rise if they’re not joined by the healthy and young.

    Monday, November 18, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink