In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Obamacare sign-ups were on track to hit 7 million as the clock neared midnight Monday, the deadline for enrolling in private coverage under the law.

On its own, the number is largely meaningless. The law wasn't going to succeed or fail in the long term if it hit or missed that mark, which the Congressional Budget Office originally projected enrollment would hit before saying the number would probably be lower after the law's troubled launch in October.

But the gigantic surge in Obamacare's final month does suggest something important: People must really want health insurance.

By sheer numbers, March was an unqualified success. About 2.8 million Americans signed up for coverage, 1 million more than December, the previous record month. In the last five days alone, 1 million people enrolled -- more than twice as many as enrolled in October and November combined.

Read More →

President Barack Obama took the rare step of endorsing in the Hawaii Democratic primary, adding to an already heated competition between Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and challenger Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Obama's endorsement would have considerable weight in most Democratic primaries, but it's especially important in Hawaii since the president grew up there and remains popular. Obama's endorsement will fan the flames of an already heated Democratic primary between two candidates who represent two distinct wings of the Democratic party in Hawaii. Here are four key points to keep in mind.

Read More →

You probably hear a lot of numbers about Obamacare: 6 million people have enrolled since October, but wasn't it supposed to be 7 million? How many states are using HealthCare.gov? How much is all of this going to cost?

To make things simpler as the law's first open enrollment period comes to a close, here are the numbers you should know to understand Obamacare.

Read More →

How much will Obamacare cost?

The law's first open enrollment period (more or less) ends Monday. With it will undoubtedly come much debate about whether it succeeded in signing up enough people. For the time being, that's largely irrelevant. Check back in three years to determine if the insurance market is sustainable, affordable and providing health coverage to the uninsured.

But how the 2014 market shakes out -- and how it affects the 2015 market and beyond -- will help determine the answer to a question that neither party seems all that interested in exploring: How much will Obamacare, at least in the form of tax subsidies that help pay for coverage, actually cost?

Read More →

The Iowa press saw Rep. Bruce Braley's (D-IA) comments slamming "farmer" Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) as more like President Barack Obama's guns and religion comment during his first presidential campaign or Mitt Romney's 47 percent comment in 2012 than a "Todd Akin" moment.

Republicans, by contrast, were quick to label Braley's poorly crafted warning that a farmer could become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee as a "Todd Akin-like" gaffe.

It didn't help much when Braley's campaign misspelled two Iowa farming terms in a press release a little while after his original comments first came to light. Below is a roundup of editorials on Braley's comments.

Read More →

The last few times that the Obama administration has released a new Obamacare enrollment report or announced a new enrollment milestone, a familiar chorus has come up from the right: Those numbers aren't quite right.

It happened again Thursday when the White House proclaimed six million people had signed up for private coverage under the law.

The origin of the criticsm is based in very legitimate questions about the numbers: How many of those people paid their first premium, formally initiating their new coverage? How many were previously uninsured, rather than previously insured people who just moved over to a new plan?

But those are questions the Obama administration says it isn't able to answer yet. Premiums are paid directly to the insurance companies, and the administration says it doesn't yet have accurate information about how many people have paid them. The online application on HealthCare.gov doesn't include a question about an applicant's prior insurance status, which makes that metric difficult to track.

Read More →

TPMLivewire