About 4.2 million Americans have now signed up for private health insurance under Obamacare, according to new data from the Obama administration. Each of them is part of a new reality established by the law that GOP candidates must confront in their campaigns.
*Note: Washington is funneling a huge number of Medicaid renewals (more than 351,000 as of March 6) through its exchange. Our methodology, explained here and based on consultations with experts, did not account for that because most states are not.
As TPM has reported, Republicans and their congressional candidates are struggling to figure out what their message should be now that millions of people have gained coverage through the law. That internal battle is typified by Senate candidates like Michigan’s Terri Lynn Land and North Carolina’s Thom Tillis, who are trying to straddle the line between pushing repeal with the base while voicing some support for popular pieces of the law.
Whether Obamacare is a winning issue for either party or simply a wash is still an open question. But using the 11 races rated by the Cook Political Report as “lean” or “toss-up” races, here’s an initial look at the emerging Obamacare reality that will lay the foundation for those battleground campaigns.
Alaska (D incumbent): 6,666 private enrollees (8.5 percent of estimated eligible population; 2,901 Medicaid enrollees (6 percent of estimated eligible population)
New Reality: 9,567 total enrollees (7.5 percent of estimated eligible population)
Arkansas (D incumbent): 27,395 private enrollees (12.1 percent); 57,455 Medicaid enrollees (20.7 percent)
New Reality: 84,850 total enrollees (16.8 percent)
Colorado (D incumbent): 83,469 private enrollees (16.7 percent); 135,560 Medicaid enrollees (36.3 percent)
New Reality: 219,029 total enrollees (25 percent)
Georgia (Open seat, R-held): 139,371 private enrollees (13.1 percent); 62,162 Medicaid enrollees (7.1 percent)
New Reality: 201,533 total enrollees (10.4 percent)
Iowa (Open seat, D-held): 15,346 private enrollees (5.9 percent); 28,981 Medicaid enrollees (18.2 percent)
New Reality: 44,327 total enrollees (10.5 percent)
Kentucky (R incumbent): 54,945 private enrollees (18.1 percent); 222,448 Medicaid enrollees (54.1 percent)
New Reality: 277,393 total enrollees (38.9 percent)
Louisiana (D incumbent): 45,561 private enrollees (9.3 percent); 9,105 Medicaid enrollees (2.4 percent)
New Reality: 54,666 total enrollees (6.4 percent)
Michigan (Open seat, D-held): 144,587 private enrollees (19.9 percent); 40,347 Medicaid enrollees (5.5 percent)
New Reality: 184,934 total enrollees (12.6 percent)
Montana (D incumbent): 22,542 private enrollees (14.8 percent); 3,643 Medicaid enrollees (4.5 percent)
New Reality: 26,185 total enrollees (11.2 percent)
North Carolina (D incumbent): 200,546 private enrollees (18.7 percent); 55,691 Medicaid enrollees (8.1 percent)
New Reality: 256,237 total enrollees (14.5 percent)
West Virginia (Open seat, D-held): 10,599 private enrollees (9.1 percent); 16,569 Medicaid enrollees (9.7 percent)
New Reality: 27,168 total enrollees (9.4 percent)