Administration officials said they were pleased with the numbers. “These encouraging trends show that more Americans are enrolling every day, and finding quality, affordable coverage in the marketplace,” said Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services.That tracks the Massachusetts model: older, sicker people signed up early, everyone else tagged along. Analysts expect to see a surge in younger enrollees between now and March 31, the deadline for signing up.
“The covered population is getting younger,” Ms. Sebelius said. In January, 318,000 people age 18 to 34 selected health plans, bringing the total in this age group to 807,500, officials said.
The states that are leading enrollment are those that set up their own exchanges: Vermont leads with 52.4 percent total enrolled of eligible population; Washington, 47.3 percent total enrolled; Rhode Island, 37 percent total enrolled; Kentucky, 33.5 percent total enrolled; and Connecticut, 29.6 percent totaled enrolled. All of these states also expanded Medicaid, and those new beneficiaries make up the majority of new enrollees. The worst states: Hawaii, which has had continuing problems with getting a functioning website; and four red states, Mississippi, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.
Here's a statistic that should help the popularity of the law: four-fifths of these enrollees got help paying for these premiums. There's something else for Republicans to worry about.
For now, though, they're dismissing the numbers. Despite the rousing success of the law in Kentucky, Sen. Mitch McConnell sniffs that it doesn't really count because "'the new enrollees in Obamacare exchange plans are actually folks who were already insured or eligible for Medicaid." You keep thinking that, Mitch. That's the ticket.