Despite the debacle of the Obamacare website at its unveiling and the earnest efforts of the Republican party to derail it (anti-Obamacare groups outspent those in favor by a ratio of 15 to 1), the New England Journal of Medicine reports that 20 million people have enrolled in the plan. (The full report can be seen here.) This graphic from the NEJM report shows the different ways that people can sign up.
They reached the 20 million total this way: 1 million adults under age 26 enrolled in their parents’ plan; 8 million enrolled in private coverage through the insurance marketplaces; 5 million enrolled in private coverage directly through their insurer; 6 million enrolled in Medicaid.
They also noted the disparity — and potential for even greater disparity — between the 28 states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare, and the others that decided to not to following the 2012 Supreme Court decision.
“Those deciding not to expand Medicaid will benefit far less from the law, and since many of these states have high rates of uninsured residents and lower health status,” they said, “the ACA may have the paradoxical effect of increasing disparities across regions, even as it reduces disparities between previously insured and uninsured Americans as a whole.”
These results support other studies that show that the number of uninsured has plummeted since the introduction of Obamacare.
Niam Yaraghi at the Brookings Institution, after a state-by-state analysis, reports on what looks like a Streisand Effect.
In fact, after controlling for other state characteristics such as low per capita income population and average insurance premiums, I observe a positive association between the anti-ACA spending and ACA enrollment. This implies that anti-ACA ads may unintentionally increase the public awareness about the existence of a governmentally subsidized service and its benefits for the uninsured.
I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that there were people who actively sought to discourage people from signing up for affordable health insurance and that there were others who actually took that advice.