Enrollment extensions wind down but health law politics getting complicated

Published on April 16, 2014 at 1:43 PM · No Comments

People wanting coverage on the federal and some state websites needed to sign up by Tuesday, and federal officials say they won't again extend the deadline. In addition, news outlets examine why it will take time to determine whether the overhaul is a success and how Republicans are treading carefully as they call for overturning a law that has provided benefits to millions of Americans.

The Wall Street Journal: Obama Administration Won't Extend Health-Insurance Enrollment
The Obama administration said on Tuesday that a midnight deadline for most people to finish health-insurance applications for private coverage this year wouldn't be extended amid signs that enrollment waits had dissipated. Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, confirmed there would be no further changes to an extension that pushed the end of insurance enrollment until April 15 for those who were "in line" on HealthCare.gov by March 31. The federally run site is the main portal for buying insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Radnofsky, 4/15).

Los Angeles Times: Health Sign-Ups In State Draw to A Close
After website troubles sparked a two-week extension, California officials wrapped up the first open enrollment for Obamacare coverage with nearly 1.3 million consumers signed up since October for the state-run exchange. Sign-ups ahead of Tuesday's enrollment deadline appeared to run more smoothly than they did March 31, the previous cut-off date (Terhune, 4/15).

NPR: Is Obamacare A Success? We Might Not Know For A While
After months of focusing on how many people have or haven't signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, we now have a rough total (7.5 million) and everyone's keen to get to the bigger questions: How well is the law working? How many of those who signed up have paid their premiums and are actually getting coverage? How many were uninsured before they signed up? And just how big has the drop been in the number of uninsured people? (Rovner, 4/16).

Politico: Giving Anti-Obamacare Speeches To Enrollees
Anti-Obamacare Republicans home on recess are coming face to face this week with newly insured constituents. It could be an interesting encounter. No politician wants to sound eager to take government benefits away from voters -; and while public opinion polls show the health care law is still controversial, millions of people are indeed getting assistance. ... The two-week recess is the first extended break from Washington for lawmakers since the 2014 open enrollment season ended and coverage for many Americans kicked in. Many people with new plans received subsidies to make their health insurance more affordable, or they became eligible for expanded Medicaid (Cunningham and Kim, 4/16).

Reuters:  Americans Increasingly Prefer Democrats On Health Care
Americans increasingly think Democrats have a better plan for healthcare than Republicans, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted after the White House announced that more people than expected had signed up for the "Obamacare" health plan. Nearly one-third of respondents in the online survey released on Tuesday said they prefer Democrats' plan, policy or approach to healthcare, compared to just 18 percent for Republicans. This marks both an uptick in support for Democrats and a slide for Republicans since a similar poll in February (Debenedetti, 4/16).


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

 

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