So You STILL Want To “Repeal Obamacare,” Do You?

UPDATE: How desperate is the Obamacare "bad news" spin getting, you ask? Media Matters:


On March 27, health insurance enrollment through the ACA's exchanges surpassed 6 million, exceeding the revised estimate of enrollees for the program's first year before the March 31 open enrollment deadline. Enrollment appears on track to hit the Congressional Budget Office's initial estimate of 7 million sign-ups, and taking Medicaid enrollees into account, the ACA will have reportedly extended health care coverage to at least 9.5 million previously uninsured individuals.

Fox celebrated the final day of open enrollment by attempting to somehow twist the recent enrollment surge into bad news for the law.

America's Newsroom aired an extremely skewed bar chart which made it appear that the 6 million enrollees comprised roughly one-third of the 7 million enrollee goal…

6 million is one-third of 7 million? Now that's what we call "fuzzy math."



Today marks the deadline to begin the process of signing up for health insurance during the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. "Obamacare," and the Los Angeles Times offers an executive summary of the law's progress:

President Obama's healthcare law, despite a rocky rollout and determined opposition from critics, already has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century, national surveys and enrollment data show.

As the law's initial enrollment period closes, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage. Some have done so through marketplaces created by the law, some through other private insurance and others through Medicaid, which has expanded under the law in about half the states…

The Affordable Care Act still faces major challenges, particularly the risk of premium hikes next year that could drive away newly insured customers. But the increased coverage so far amounts to substantial progress toward one of the law's principal goals and is the most significant expansion since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

The millions of newly insured also create a politically important constituency that may complicate any future Republican repeal efforts. [Pols emphasis]

This is a great story that cuts through the nonsense with hard facts. Despite the insistence by Republicans opponents of health care reform that there has been a "net reduction" in the number of insured Americans from Obamacare, this report shows that millions of previously uninsured Americans are now covered. Those "millions" alleged by the GOP to have "lost insurance" due to Obamacare simply do not exist.

There's one fundamental reason why Republicans were willing to risk political disaster to stop the rollout of the Affordable Care Act last fall, which included shutting down large portions of the federal government rather than pass spending bills that funded the new law. It's certainly true that since the shutdown, when Republicans were overwhelmingly condemned by the public, the troubled rollout of the health insurance exchanges–including here in Colorado, though our system held up better than the federal exchange–hurt Democrats politically.

But today, with the truth now coming into focus, it's undeniable: millions of Americans are benefiting from Obamacare. And it's becoming more and more obvious with each report on the number of newly insured that Obamacare isn't going anywhere. Before these 9.5 million previously uninsured Americans got insurance, or the millions more who are saving big with premium assistance got that assistance, Obamacare was a less tangible reality–something that could be taken away without as great an outcry. It's arguable that as soon as the early provisions kicked in, like the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions or allowing children to stay on their parents' health plans longer, there was already too many people benefiting for repeal to be a realistic possibility.

But now, it's flat-out impossible to repeal Obamacare without hurting millions of people–and any Republican who is unwilling to admit this is deluding themselves and their audience. As ABC News reports today, even conservative opposition to Obamacare is fading:

Views on the law, as noted, have shifted disproportionately in an unexpected area – among conservatives. While most remain opposed, that’s declined from 81 percent in November to 61 percent now. Similarly, while conservatives are particularly critical of Obama’s handling of the law, this has eased from 84 percent disapproval last fall to 69 percent today.

Independents, potential swing voters in the midterm elections, continue to tilt against the law, with 44 percent in support, 54 percent opposed, but that compares with 36-62 percent last fall. And while just 37 percent of independents approve of Obama’s handling of the rollout, that is 14 points more than its low four and a half months ago.

Among other groups…support for the ACA is up by 16 points vs. November among adults under age 40 – a coveted group for the law’s insurance pools – from 38 percent then to 54 percent now. [Pols emphasis] It’s gained a similar 15 points among those with incomes less than $50,000, from 38 percent then to 53 percent; 14 points among nonwhites, to 68 percent (compared with just 40 percent support among whites); and 12 points among those who lack a college degree, to 46 percent support.

Has it been a long road to this moment for Obamacare? Absolutely. Have there been major stumbles along the way that have given opponents ammunition to keep up their attacks? Of course there have. But as opponents cash in their credibility with increasingly desperate and inaccurate campaign against the law, which growing numbers of Americans can disprove with their own experience, it's clearer by the day who is going to win this long debate in the end. The only question is whether or not that will happen in time for the 2014 elections. As last fall's shutdown raged on, and Republicans reeled from public disapproval of their actions, a very different outcome in 2014 was forecast than after the troubled rollout of the insurance exchange became the dominant narrative.

What will this debate look like six months from now? If we were giving the GOP advice, we'd be very worried about the trajectory here–and looking hard for something else to talk about.

78 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Great work, spin doctors. Unfortunately, it's just spin:

    The Obama administration is celebrating that it has achieved its (downwardly revised) goal of signing up more than 6 million Americans for Obamacare by 11:59 p.m. March 31. Mission accomplished!

    Not quite. The administration has not revealed how many of those 6 million people have paid their premiums. If you have not paid, you have not actually “enrolled.” It’s like putting merchandise in your Amazon cart but never clicking “buy.”

    Besides, the number that matters is not how many Americans signed up for Obamacare but rather how many previously uninsured Americans signed up for Obamacare. By that standard, Obamacare may be headed for an epic failure.

    Recall that between 5 million and 6 million Americans lost their health plans because of Obamacare last fall. If the administration now succeeds in signing up 5 million to 6 million previously insured Americans, it will have achieved . . . nothing. Breaking even is no great accomplishment.

    And let’s not forget: Many of those new Obamacare sign-ups are self-sufficient people who were previously paying their own way and now receive government subsidies for insurance. Creating government dependency is not progress — it’s a step backward.

    • ModeratusModeratus says:

      If I put insurance in my shopping cart, but never pay for it, am I still covered? According to your "facts," yes.

    • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

      Recall that between 5 million and 6 million Americans lost their health plans because of Obamacare last fall. If the administration now succeeds in signing up 5 million to 6 million previously insured Americans, it will have achieved . . . nothing. Breaking even is no great accomplishment.

      Did you even read the Times NEWS story before posting this opinion piece? This falsehood is addressed in detail. Fail, Moddy. Epic fail.

    • Andrew Carnegie says:


      This is the last day to enrol.  Let the clowns revel in their accomplishment. 

      The program is so good all the Dem candidates should not respond to the Obamacare ads.  Everything is just fine.  People love what they did.

      November will be like driving along I-80 at 65 mph near the Platte in the summer time and the Dem Senators will be the bugs on your windshield.  Splat.


    • gumshoe says:

      GOP paid communications staff sure is upset about this. You have a lot of work ahead of you Mod and AC. The people are glad we did this. Health protection is a move in the right direction. Republicans supported it under Reagan. And the people support it now.

      Quit playing partisan games. 

    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      Mod, I figured it out.  The article was an early April Fools Day joke.

      Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

  2. ModeratusModeratus says:

    No Obamacare victims? Everything is great? Keep telling yourself that wheil rural Colorado suffers.

    Health care has always been more expensive in far-flung communities, where actuarial insurance data show fewer doctors, specialists and hospitals, as well as older residents in need of more health care services. But the rural-urban cost divide has been exacerbated by the Affordable Care Act.

    “We’ve gone from letting the insurance companies use a pre-existing medical condition to jack up rates to having a pre-existing zip code being the reason health insurance is unaffordable,” Fales said. “It’s just wrong.”

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      OK, rates are higher all around for rural communities. It's a function of how far one is from the nearest hospital, and how hard it is for little towns to keep and attract doctors and health professionals. It's been that way for longer than you or I have been alive – definitely not just since the Affordable Care Act.

      However, now, working poor people in rural communities are eligible for advanced tax care credit subsidies, so that they actually can afford to buy premiums. Are you really going to be the one who tells a small-town resident that they shouldn't take advantage of the opportunity to finally insure their loved ones and themselves?

  3. ModeratusModeratus says:

    You think you're safe from Obamacare because your policy wasn't cancelled? Think again.

    Yesterday, the Obama Administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a six-page report predicting that Obamacare could cause premiums to increase for nearly two-thirds of small- to medium-sized businesses. “This results in roughly 11 million individuals whose premiums are estimated to be higher as a result of the ACA and about 6 million individuals who are estimated to have lower premiums,” CMS writes. But CMS’ projections almost certainly understate the problem, one that will begin to affect millions of workers in the second half of 2014.

  4. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Americans are "disproving" Obamacare horror stories? Not so.

    One-third of Americans say the Affordable Care Act has had a negative impact on them personally, while 14 percent say the law has helped them, according to a new Rasmussen survey. The poll finds that public dissatisfaction with Obamcare remains nearly as high as it was during the height of the website’s problems last year.

  5. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Also, this article is a sham.

    The Los Angeles Times greeted the Obamacare enrollment data on Monday with a striking headline, claiming that "at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage," which is 3 million people more than the Obama administration itself claimed last week (a number that was itself highly questionable, since it did not exclude those who had not paid for their new insurance). The Times' analysis, however, is laughable.

    The data reported by Noam. N. Levey are not actual counts of enrollees, but a hodgepodge of "state and federal enrollment reports, surveys and interviews with insurance executives and government officials nationwide." 

    The idea that "interviews with…government officials" who have a political stake in the final numbers could be an objective measure of progress, or combined analytically with enrollment numbers, is ridiculous on its face.

    Furthermore, most of the 3.5 million additional enrollees are entirely accounted for by the 3 million "children" who are now insured up to the age of 26 on their parents' insurance. That coverage was provided by Obamacare but has nothing to do with the Obamacare exchanges or the open enrollment period that ends March 31.

    • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

      Jesus Moddy, were you behind your quota or what? Way to throw up all over this thread.

      • DavieDavie says:

        Obviously the news that Obamacare is succeeding and growing popular, combined with Pols' diary, must have struck a nerve.

        Back on our farm in the '50's, my mother used to prepare chicken dinner for us kids by going out to the chicken coop, grabbing one poor unlucky soul, then wring its neck.  It's true, they really do run around for a while without their head.

        Sorta like the the way GOTPers are doing about now.

        • ModeratusModeratus says:

          The only thing that "strikes a nerve" is when Colorado Pols takes bad news reporting, like this story, and hypes it out of all proportion for partisan political pusposes. Real people are hurting because of Obamacare. Even supporters should want to fix the law's problems, but we can't even talk about that as long as Democrats insist that all is wonderful and there are no problems.

          It is Democrats who are being dishonest about Obamacare, not Republicans.

  6. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Everything is working just fine.

    That is why I see vulnerable Dems saying keep it just the way it is.

    Ignore those pesky ads that are running about Obamacare.

    No need to respond.

    They are just wasting their money.

    What is the light coming this way from the other side of the tunnel?


  7. The breakdown from the guy everyone is going to (except for FOX – he turned them down when they called, thanks to the misleading graph above…)

    * As of yesterday, 4.68 million on-exchange signups paid or invoice not yet received or due
    * 283 thousand known not yet paid
    * Estimated 1.68 million as-yet unreported exchange plan sign-ups
    * 568 thousand known off-exchange qualifying plans + 71 thousand SHOP small business signups
    * 4.7 million signups to Medicaid due to Medicaid expansion
    * 1.8 million signups to Medicaid by people who were previously eligible but had failed to sign up – brought "out of the woodwork" by ACA signup process.
    * between 2.5 and 3.1 million young adults under 26 covered under parents' plans.

    TOTAL ACA coverage: 13.1 – 18.1 million newly covered individuals. (Does not include approximately 3.7 million cancelled plans – many of which were replaced by these qualifying plans.  Does not include an estimated 4 million off-exchange plans not being reported by states.)

  8. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    I am hopeful these numbers are real. But Secretary Sebelius has been so wrong on so many things I don't trust anything she says as to the status of the sign ups.

    • ModeratusModeratus says:

      Thanks, David. Your healthy skepticism does you credit. I only wish more Democrats could think objectively instead of being blindly driven by partisan politics.

      • ct says:

        ^^^ LOL… Do YOU laugh out loud when you write thay crap Moddy?  That's funny on so many levels.  

        • ModeratusModeratus says:

          What crap? That Sebelius has been wrong over and over like Dave says? I agree.

          • ct says:

            Your comment is the crap, Sebelius' department's handling has not been stellar.  And funny:

   finding kinship in a typical DT comment, worth a chuckle anyhow

   typing this: "think objectively instead of being blindly driven by partisan politics." 

            And funny on a meta-wingnut level too: Apparently the entire GOP strategy will be to attack Obamacare… they seem to be unaware that the deep hatred they have for it themselves is not necessarily shared by those they need to persuade.  I'm sure they have their polling, but I think they have already overplayed their hand, and the leverage its unpopularity may bring will be even more diminished by November.  

            Most of even those who don't care for it strongly wish that the GOP-electeds would actually work for a living rather than re-litigate the past over and over, 50+ times (in House votes alone–during the least productive-ever and historically most worthless-ever House).

            Americans are more tired of the partisan bullshit than they are of Obamacare and that sentiment is more consistent across all demographics.  So keep playing that tired hack hand.  My take is it's not as strong as you think it is.  

            • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

              I've said before and I'll say it again: I think Sebilius is one hell of a woman.  Given this non-stop tsunami of obstructionism from the right to kill the ObamaCare from Day 1 – and the Administration-agnostic challenges that come with federal contracting (something out of her hands) – I'd put her up against anyone Romney would have chosen for her stead. I couldn't be more thrilled they've survived this onslaught – and today millions of previously-uninsured Americans are covered.  We have some work to do – but we will do it – in spite of RWNJ. Next stop: single payer.

              • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

                I'm sorry Michael. She may have been a good governor but she's been incompetent at HHS. In her present role you can't trust anything she says and you can't trust any project assigned to her department will be completed.

                That's her track record.

                • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                  Can't trust anything she says? Can't trust any project assigned to her department?

                  Overstated much? I think so. Despite mistakes leading up to the rollout, and the early weeks of same, Sibelius has redeemed herself. ACA is on track to get 7 million enrollees. That's an accomplishment.

                  • Have to agree on that last. The country has overcome the lower estimates that the CBO forecast due to the early website malfunctions and is on track to reach the initial goal of 7 million first year enrollees.

                    Republicans IMHO have underestimated the country's desire for affordable and reliable health insurance.

                  • Gilpin Guy says:

                    Mama you have to remember is the resident concern-troll and every bit as committed to trashing Democrats as Moldy.  Some people are just assholes all the time.

                  • Andrew Carnegie says:

                    7 million enrollees?

                    You do not enroll unless you pay and the website does is designed so they do not know whether anyone paid.  Insurance industry suggests 20-30% have not paid to likely number about 5 million, the same amount of people who lost their policies because it was passed.

                    Nice work Sebelius.

                    • Gilpin Guy says:

                      That's 5 million more people who have access to affordable health care than under Republican plans.  Nice work Sebelius.

            • Andrew Carnegie says:

              CT You are a fool.

              Nobody want to persuade you, except perhaps for you to stop breathing.  

              The independant types are not Obamacare fans.  They are the group that can be persuaded.

              Just like your parents, we gave up on you a long time ago.

              • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

                Now you're getting close to being over the line, with the "stop breathing" stuff. I'd dial it back if I were you.

                We get it. You're going to insult CT every time he insults you. You are manly men. Sheesh.

                • ct says:

                  I insult the troll.  I also provide actual and I hope thoughtful analysis and opinion, nuance on occasion even.  From troll I'm still waiting for anything that is in any way original thought–not just the daily regurgitation of barfed up partisan blah blah blah.  At least it is not posting more Putin porn-cartoons today.  

                  I stand my my analysis here.   

                  Americans are more tired of the partisan bullshit than they are of Obamacare and that sentiment is more consistent across all demographics.  So keep playing that tired hack hand.  My take is it's not as strong as you think it is.  


          • langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

            But neither you ,nor the guy you're agreeing with could be bothered to point those errors out. Why is that?

    • If it makes you feel better, the numbers I posted don't come solely from HHS. They're compiled from various sources and the author, Charles Gaba, has been well under 1% error from the final monthly tallies for the past few months.

  9. dustpuppydustpuppy says:

    Sen. Canada posted the question on Facebook: "Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago with Obamacare"

    All are "Yesses" – I guess he wasn't expecting the answer. I don't think he's going to weasel out of this one. And yes, it does help Americans, and more importantly, it registers Americans to vote, and all the polls that says Republicans are leading are in for a major suprise this fall.


  10. Andrew Carnegie says:

    80% chance Republicans take control of the Senate per washington post.


    • There are two Independent seats. They caucus with the Democrats, but they don't show up on these bar graphs. Democrats need 48 seats to retain control.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Yes and there was no way that Obama was going to beat Romney in 2012.  Remember how absolutely confident you were that voters were going to turn on Obama?  How'd that turn out for you?  You still remember that bitter taste of defeat when all your rosey projections went down in flames and Romney only got 47%?

    • nota33 says:

      Hey right wing LOSER, give it up. You right wing lunatics lost. obamacare is here to stay.


      PS Even if the GOP take the senate. NONE of their radical legislation will ever become law thanks to Obama's veto pen. If we lose the senate in 2014, we will take it right back in 2016 where republicans have to defend many more seats than democrats and  alot of those in blue states and Hillary will become our next president if she decides to run 😉

      • nota33 says:

        That was to Andrew.

      • Andrew Carnegie says:

        No, Do you think the Insurance Company bailouts get funded if the Republicans control the Senate?  What happens to the rates without a bailout?

        Obamacare.  The gift that keeps giving.

        House? 2010

        Senate? 2014

        President? 2016


        • nota33 says:

          Obamacare is te gift to millions of Americans. You are losing the battle you right wing lunatic! None of the GOP's radical legislation will ever become law. Do you understand that loser Andrew? The GOP is done. Your party has become a minority party that is extreme and out of touch with the majority of Americans. Go post on a right wing blog where you belong you worthless right wing scum 😉

        • nota33 says:

          You right wing lunatics got the house because of GERRYMANDERING. Gerrymandering and voter suppression are the only ways you right wing lunatics can win because the right wing base is a base made up of older white people and this base continues to shrink and shrink. You right wing nuts are losing badly with women, latino, asian, black, and gay voters. The GOP is going to be extinct in due time. Over 7 million people enrolled in healthcare you ignorant imbecile and you can't stand it.

  11. It's too bad we fell so short in Obamacare coverage. 4.8 million people will not be covered under Obamacare because Republican controlled states declined to offer Medicaid expansion that economists agree is good for the states' economies and their budgets. All for a power tantrum.

    • DavieDavie says:

      Nah, according to Moddy, it would have been a cheap partisan stunt if the Republican governors buckled under and let the Feds pay for Medicaid expansions in their states. Recipients would have suffered having to take their families in for preventive care, and lordy, the prospect of not facing crushing ER bills would be humiliating!

      GOP guvs slogan:  "Eh, they're better off dead anyway"

      Right, AC?

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Some Obamacare horror stories:

      Uninsured people die sooner – I've lost three friends who died from strokes or cancer or other ailments – none of them had insurance coverage, mainly because they were self-employed or worked temp or part time jobs.

      One was a writer and activist, turned artist when she was in her late 60s. She passed away from a stroke. She was uninsured.

      One was a peace activist,  paramedic and martial arts teacher, in his 50s.He provided medical care to protesters at Wounded Knee, at Rocky Flats, anytime, anywhere people needed care. Yet he died alone and uninsured.

      One was an LPN who worked long term temp jobs. She got most of her health back after years of alcohol and drug addiction. She was clean, sober, and uninsured when she passed away early in the morning after refusing to be transported to an ER.

      My mother was insured, but because MRIs were expensive and she had  pre-existing conditions, her doctor wouldn't order an MRI until the cancer had returned and spread to most of her organs. Changes in the health law would have given her better coverage for less money, and she might have caught the cancer sooner.

      Today, I burn a memorial candle for my loved ones….good people who died too soon. I don't know if being insured would have saved them, but I think it would have given them a better chance. None of them wanted to go into emergency rooms, because they couldn't afford it.

      While you all are panicking and spreading misinformation about the ACA, think about your own relatives and friends – I guarantee that there will be at least one who will benefit from access to health care, which they wouldn't have without this law.

  12. Gilpin Guy says:

    I'm one of those people that Moldy and the wanna be rich boy want to see suffer with adequate health care coverage.  Under their regime, insurance would still be able to deny my health care insurance because I now have a pre-existing condition.  I was diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease last week and am so thankful that I live in a country that prevents the big health insurance corporations from discriminating against me.  These anti-Christian bastards who spout about how people are getting hurt and how we shouldn't help the poor because they all poor characters are minions of the Devil and don't know jack about the good this law is doing and helping people all across the country like me.  I have a chance to live a normal live and receive the kind of medical care that will keep me out of a wheelchair for some time to come.  Congratulations to Barack Obama and all the true patriots who stepped up and did some worthy for all the citizens of this country.  The Affordable Care Act is working today to help people like me and will never be repealed.  Never ever ever.  The CEO's of the insurance corporations no longer get to play God with my life for their profit and I am thankful I no longer have to live in fear that my policy will get cancelled because I got sick.

    • Gilpin Guy says:


      s/b . . . suffer with no health care coverage.

      • Andrew Carnegie says:


        You do know that preexisting condition coverage was in place in Colorado before the ACA was passed, right?

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          So are you saying that providing people with pre-existing conditions an opportunity to obtain affordable health insurance is a good thing?

          • horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

            Well, yes, I mean, no.  I mean, uh  FREEDOM !

            I am helping Andrew craft his response to that very good question Gilpin Guy.  Glad you have the coverage you need.

            • Gilpin Guy says:

              Thanks horseshit.  I am on a great plan with United Healthcare through my employer and feel fortunate that even if something happened to my company would still be able to get health insurance.  The DaTScan imaging procedure that confirmed my diagnosis cost $10,000 retail.  My insurance company paid $1,500 and my copay was $250.  The procedure was approved in 2011 and gave me an early diagnosis and a chance to start immediate treatment which right now is mega doses of Vitamin D & B coupled with exercise.  I don't need to start synthetic dopamine right away and if I learn how to manage it now then it will result in less health care costs in the long run.  Without health insurance I couldn't afford to pay full retail for the procedure and my physical well being would have suffered.  Health insurance really is life saving and only acolytes of the Devil would want people to go uninsured (I'm looking at you Moldy and wanna be rich boy).

              • horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

                That is a good story and it sounds like you are managing things quite well.   To your health Gilpin Guy.

                And to those out there like Moddy and AC who would sell out the health,well being and even lives of fellow Americans for whatever gain you might realize, there is a special place in hell for greedy little bastards like you.

          • Andrew Carnegie says:

            I had no problem with the state law that covered preexisting conditions by taxing people who purchased healthcare plans in Colorado.  Did you know that it was available but was eliminated due to Obamacare?

            • BlueCatBlueCat says:

              It was too expensive to be affordable for most who needed it. People with preexisting condidtions are among those most happy about ACA.

            • horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

              Lies by omission Andrew Carnegie.  Did you know that ACA covers preexisting conditions ?  Do you know that makes your whole point ( or lie) about the "elimination" of the state law covering preexisting conditions completely pointless ?

              Attempting to confuse replacement with elimination.  Somewhere Cory Gardner is shedding a tear !

      • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

        We have a family friend who was in the late stages of Parkinsons before we convinced her to try a high-CBD / mmj  therapy.  It made a world of difference; she now wishes she hadn't fought the idea so long (was adamantly anti-mj).  Here's one of many articles on the internet about the uses of high-CBD oils. 

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