How Fox is spinning the ACA numbers:
Charles Gaba’s final estimate on enrollments:
I’m gonna go with a range: Between 6.9 Million and 7.0 Million. That’s right, I think there’s an outside chance of exchange [Qualified Health Plans] pushing past the “magic” 7 million mark by midnight after all.
Cohn examines data on how many enrollees were perviously uninsured. He looks “at numbers from a handful of states that are collecting this kind of data and have reported it”:
Last week, New York officials told CNBC that 59 percent of people getting insurance through the state marketplace had no coverage before. The numbers were even higher in Kentucky, where officials told the network that 75 percent of people selecting plans had been uninsured before.
Noam Levey estimates that “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 tally draws from a review of state and federal enrollment reports, surveys and interviews with insurance executives and government officials nationwide.
Philip Klein claims this is below projections:
At the time the law was passed, however, in March 2010, the CBO projected that in total, the ranks of the uninsured would be reduced by 19 million in 2014 relative to what would have been the case if not law had been passed. It’s true that since that time, the Supreme Court ruled that the Medicaid expansion, as designed, was unconstitutional, giving states the option of not expanding Medicaid — which limited the effect of that provision.
But even as recently as February — when analysts knew how many states weren’t going along with the Medicaid expansion and were aware of the early technical glitches facing the rollout of Obamacare — the CBO still projected that the law would reduce the number of uninsured by 13 million.
Regardless of the final numbers, Drum points out that enrollment doesn’t stop this year:
Enrollment of around 6 million makes Obamacare hard to repeal, but for now that’s not really what’s holding it in place. What’s holding it in place is the fact that Democrats control the Senate and Barack Obama occupies the White House. And even if the Senate switches parties next year, I think we can all agree that Obamacare is going nowhere as long as Obama stays president. So 2017 is the earliest it could even plausibly be repealed.
But what do things look like in 2017? The chart on the right shows the latest CBO estimates. By 2017, a total of 36 million Americans will be covered by Obamacare. Of that, 24 million will have private coverage via the exchanges and 12 million will be covered by Medicaid. Those are very big numbers. Even if Republicans improbably manage to get complete control of the government in the 2016 election and eliminate the filibuster so Democrats can’t object, they’ll still have to contend with this.
Douthat agrees that Republicans will be politically constrained:
[A]ny kind of conservative alternative will have to confront the reality that the kind of tinkering-around-the-edges alternatives to Obamacare that many Republicans have supported to date would end up stripping coverage from millions of newly-insured Americans. That newly-insured constituency may not be as large as the bill’s architects originally hoped, or be composed of the range of buyers that the program ultimately needs. But it will be a fact on the ground to an extent that was by no means certain last December. And that fact will shape, and constrain, the options of the law’s opponents even in the event that Republicans manage to reclaim the White House two years hence.