Okay, One State Can Claim Success So Far.

So far, there is one state that can say, without much spin or goal-shifting, that it is having a genuinely non-disastrous rollout of its state health exchange. Maybe even a pretty good one.

Take a bow, Connecticut:

In its first month, Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance exchange, enrolled 7,615 people in health care coverage, according to figures released Friday.

Of those, 53 percent — 4,065 — have signed up for private insurance plans. The other 47 percent are signed up for Medicaid.

In addition, 55 small businesses have signed up for coverage through Access Health’s small business exchange. Altogether they have 306 employees.

The administration’s aim was 33,000 signups for private insurance plans in Connecticut by March 31, 2014, so the state has achieved 12 percent of its goal, within 17 percent of the signup period. That may not sound like much, but it’s way ahead of almost every other state.

The private-insurance/Medicaid split is particularly impressive, since most states have had very few private-insurance purchasers and lots and lots of new folks on Medicaid:

“When we first saw the numbers, everyone’s eyes kind of bugged out,” said Matt Salo, who runs the National Association of Medicaid Directors. “Of the people walking through the door, 90 percent are on Medicaid. We’re thinking, what planet is this happening on?”

No one knows how this giant expansion of Medicaid will play out, but one likely scenario is A) a spike in the federal deficit, as Medicaid becomes a lot more expensive this year and B) budget trouble for the states:

States do, however, have to help pay for residents who were eligible before the health law but are just signing up. That could be costly: In Washington, for example, about one-third of the new Medicaid sign-ups falls into this category.

Most Popular

Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More