OVERNIGHT HEALTH: ObamaCare enrollments spike in California

Nearly 80,000 people have picked out a private health plan in California under ObamaCare, according to data released by the state’s exchange on Thursday. Covered California, which enrolled 31,000 in October, signed up almost 50,000 additional consumers in the first 19 days of November. Those numbers include those who have made it through the enrollment process and selected a plan but have not yet made a premium payment. The exchange also touted a high number of individuals who have filled out applications but not yet selected a healthcare plan. Covered California said it received more than 10,000 completed applications a day last week, topping out with a high of 71,888. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

Fix: The White House is moving forward with part of its ObamaCare fix designed to promote the law's benefits to consumers. The administration unveiled a letter that will be sent to people who have the option of continuing health policies that would otherwise be canceled under ObamaCare for one year. Most of the policies will not meet the law's new coverage standards, a fact the White House wants to highlight to the public. Elise Viebeck at The Hill reports.

Help: Almost three-quarters of people with individual health plans that could be canceled are eligible for government assistance with their healthcare, according to a new report. Families USA, a group that supports the healthcare law, found that almost three-quarters (71 percent) of people on the individual market could receive either premium tax subsidies or Medicaid under ObamaCare. ObamaCare's supporters are seeking to beat back negative news surrounding millions of plan cancellations under the law, which requires health policies to meet certain minimums standards. Elise Viebeck at The Hill reports.

Dismal: A majority of voters disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, according to a survey released Thursday by The Morning Consult. According to the poll, 53 percent disapprove of the law, with 39 percent saying they strongly disapprove. Forty-one percent said they approve, and of those, only 17 said they strongly approve. The law is particularly unpopular with independents in the poll. Sixty-three percent said they disapprove, with 44 percent of those saying they do so strongly. Only 28 percent of independents approve, with 7 saying they strongly approve. In addition, 58 percent of independents said they now trust Republicans to handle healthcare more than they trust Democrats. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

Watch: Republican lawmakers who pushed the government shutdown to stop ObamaCare say their new plan is to sit back and watch the law self-destruct. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and other Tea Party allies of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) say the threat of a shutdown is no longer necessary to defund the Affordable Care Act, now that the administration’s rollout is flailing. While Cruz is not ruling out another attempt to use government funding as leverage, his allies think they already have the political support they need to repeal the healthcare reform law. Alexander Bolton at The Hill reports.

 

State by State:

37 states increase mental health budgets, Pew’s Stateline reports.

Alabama won’t reinstate canceled policies, The Montgomery Advertiser reports.

California faces obstacles in complying with healthcare law, the Sacramento Bee reports.

 

Reading List:

ObamaCare delays an election time bomb for Democrats, writes Sam Baker at The National Journal.

ObamaCare’s failings undermine Republican goals, says Ezra Klein at Bloomberg.

ObamaCare is as unpopular as the Iraq War, writes Philip Klein at The Washington Examiner.

The healthcare law is too small to succeed, says Richard Kim at The Nation.

 

What you may have missed at HealthWatch:

Healthcare law’s name affects polling numbers.

Emails show officials feared ObamaCare launch.

 

Comments / complaints / suggestions?

Please let us know:


Jonathan Easley/ jeasley@thehill.com / 202-407-8014 / @joneasley


Elise Viebeck/ eviebeck@thehill.com / 202-628-8523 / @eliseviebeck