Gallup’s latest report on the nation’s uninsured confirms what the Affordable Care Act’s proponents had hoped: the system is working. Indeed, as Morgan Whitaker explained, “The uninsured rate among adults dropped to 13.4% in April as enrollment began coming to a close and remained steady in May. The rate nationally is now the lowest Gallup has recorded since it began tracking metric in 2008.”
The fact that the drop leveled off between April and May is not surprising – the fact that general enrollment through ACA exchange marketplaces has ended was expected to produce these results. Indeed, the data actually reinforces confidence in Gallup’s accounting.
These new figures coincide with the easy Senate confirmation of President Obama’s choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. As we talked about yesterday, this was supposed to be a knock-down, drag-out “proxy war,” but it never materialized – in part because Republicans, who’d vowed to fight “Obamacare” forever, couldn’t muster the will to care.
Given the larger context, Simon Maloy makes a persuasive case: “We’re only six days into June, and opponents of the ACA have already had a terrible month.”
The big news was the release of new data from the White House indicating that enrollment in Medicaid has surged in states that elected to expand the program under the Affordable Care Act. In April alone more than 1 million people signed up for coverage. Medicaid enrollment in states that rejected the expansion has also gone up as people who didn’t know they were eligible started signing up – the so-called Woodwork Effect….. The fight over Obamacare was always going to be a war of attrition, and it was always stacked against the Republicans.
This week, one House Republican went so far as to tell the AP, ”I don’t think anybody’s talking about repealing the entire bill. There are clearly sections of the bill … that people are saying, ‘OK, these are actually good things.’”
Who was predicting GOP rhetoric like this a few months ago?
Maloy’s report added:
While there are still 20 states holding firm in their refusal to expand Medicaid, four states are either trying to work out compromise packages (Utah, Pennsylvania and Indiana) or locked in an internal battle over whether to accept the expansion (Virginia). Virginia will be interesting to watch both for the national implications of a purple state struggling to come to grips with Obamacare, but also as a test of how far Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is willing to go in his support for the expansion. That’s a big heap of good news for the Affordable Care Act in just one week.
The fact that health care news – in this case, good health care news – no longer seems to register much is emblematic of a debate that’s effectively over.
The right lost.