Estimated Exchange QHPs as of 7/28/14: 7.90M PAID (8.92M Total)

Estimated Total, all sources: (24 Million - 29 Million)

Exchange + Off-Exchange QHPs: 15.9M  •  Medicaid/CHIP (7.0M - 9.9M)

ESIs (157K confirmed; up to 8M more possible)  •  Sub26ers (1.6M - 3.1M)

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When I posted my dumb-simple solution/workaround to resolve the Halbig decision back on July 2nd (assuming that it's upheld, which is by no means guaranteed), I meant it seriously, but figured that no one else would. I mean, really...the salvation of the most important healthcare law of the past 50 years and the single most important accomplishment of the Obama administration could end up being as simple as registering 3 dozen domain names and putting up a splashpage?

There's been a recent batch of insurance rate change requests reported across various states which has gotten a lot of press. However, as I noted a couple of weeks ago, there can be a big difference between what the insurance companies ask for and what the state insurance commissioner approves. This is one of the most important (and least-written about) aspects of the ACA: Insurance companies can no longer just jack up their prices however much they feel like; those rates have to be approved by the insurance commissioner for the state they're operating in if they want to sell their wares on the exchange.

Yesterday I posted an article in which I attempted to coin the term "Halbig Conspiracy!!®" (complete with not one, but two exclamation points). However, others including Kevin Drum of Mother Jones and Brian Beutler of the New Republic prefer the term "Halbig Truthers®", which I have to admit rolls off the tongue better, so I'll go with that instead.

In any event, last night Drum made a (tongue-in-cheek?) offer to give $10 to anyone who:

...can point out a conservative who so much as suspected that subsidies were limited to state exchanges prior to March 2010. Surely that's incentive enough? Let's start digging up evidence, people.

This led to a brief Twitter exchange in which Vox's Adrianna McIntyre offered to match Drum's $10, and I upped the ante (um...sort of) by offering up my collection of mint-condition official Todd McFarlane "Spawn" promotional action figures to sweeten the pot (I was a movie theater manager in a prior life and these were left over after the live action movie bombed in 1997).

Thanks to Paul Mullen for this find: A rare update out of North Dakota. Lots of useful data, but kind of frustrating because of the apples/oranges comparisons:

As of July 6, 9,953 North Dakota residents were covered by private insurance plans obtained through the federal marketplace, up from 8,374 reported at the committee’s last meeting May 14, according to Insurance Department figures.

That’s still lower than the 10,597 enrollment figure cited by the Obama administration in April, in part because the state counts only those who have actually paid their first month’s premium. Either way, enrollment fell short of the administration’s projection that 11,000 North Dakotans would enroll in private plans through the marketplace during its first six months.

Greg Sargent over at the Washington Post has done an excellent job of looking at the reality behind what I'm terming the "Halbig Conspiracy!!®" (note: if you choose to re-post this, I ask you to include both exclamation marks), by looking at the actual history of the federal exchange in the earlier drafts of the ACA bill:

...But documents from the Senate committees that worked on versions of the bill in 2009 — combined with a close look at the history of the phrase itself, and interviews with staffers directly involved in the drafting of the statutes — strongly undercut the argument that the law did not intend or provide subsidies to those on the federal exchange.

...1) The first Senate version of the health law to be passed in 2009 — by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee — explicitly stated that subsides would go to people on the federally-established exchange. A committee memo describing the bill circulated at the time spelled this out with total clarity.

No, I don't plan on posting Minnesota updates every day, but I'm still amazed that they seem to be having no problems doing so with their (supposedly) "faulty" exchange website, while the HHS Dept (as well as the New York exchange) has made an official policy decision not to post any updates for (presumably) the full 7 month off-season period.

In any event, MN's total enrollments went up another 1,200 from Sunday to Monday, with 67 more QHPs and 1,147 more Medicaid enrollees:

latest enrollment numbers

July 28, 2014

Health Coverage Type Total Enrollments 
Medical Assistance 162,449
MinnesotaCare 58,838
Qualified Health Plan (QHP) 52,859
TOTAL 274,146

 

For a state which didn't even implement their Medicaid expansion program until April, Michigan continues to impress...

Healthy Michigan Plan Enrollment Statistics

Beneficiaries with Healthy Michigan Plan Coverage: 341,634
(Includes beneficiaries enrolled in health plans and beneficiaries not required to enroll in a health plan.)
 

*Statistics as of July 29, 2014 
*Updated every Monday at 3 p.m.

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