OVERNIGHT HEALTH: ObamaCare hits a milestone

ObamaCare enrollment figures are on a sharp upward trajectory, with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announcing Thursday that 6 million people have enrolled with four days to go before the March 31 deadline.


That means 1 million people have enrolled in the last 10 days, and 1.8 million have enrolled so far in March. That nearly equals the roughly 2 million who enrolled in January and February combined.





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President Obama announced the milestone on a conference call from Italy with navigators and volunteers.

Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

Subsidies: About 3.5 million people have qualified for $10 billion in premium tax credits under ObamaCare so far, a new study found. A report released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation said that 83 percent of the 4.2 million people who had selected a plan as of March 1 had qualified for subsidies, which average nearly $3,000 per person. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

Vulnerable: Six Senate Democrats up for reelection or hailing from red states proposed legislation on Thursday aimed at changing parts of the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), whom Republicans view as one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate, is leading the effort, and is joined by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska), both of whom are facing difficult reelection races in 2014. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Angus King (I-Maine) are also on board with the legislation. Those three faced tough challenges in 2012 and come from states that are either conservative-leaning or have strong independent streaks. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

Bull----: Angry House conservatives denounced the Republican leadership for abruptly ramming through a fix to Medicare doctor payments on Thursday without a full roll-call vote. House Republican leaders had planned to bring up the “doc fix” under a procedure requiring a two-thirds majority to pass, but after a series of closed-door meetings on Thursday morning, they determined they didn’t have the votes to meet that threshold and didn’t want to stay in session long enough to set up a simple majority vote. Russell Berman at The Hill reports.

Frenemies: The health insurance industry can’t wait for ObamaCare’s first enrollment season to be over so that it can have a break from dealing with the White House, sources on K Street say. Insurers feel that the administration has taken advantage of them by making repeated delays and changes to the law, even as they have gone above and beyond the call of duty to fix problems with the rollout. The administration is nursing grievances as well, with concerns that insurers don’t have the best interests of consumers at heart and should temper their criticism as they do more to make the law work. Elise Viebeck at The Hill reports.

State by State:

House gives initial approval to expand MaineCare

Cover Oregon to decide whether to fix website or join federal exchange

Virginia House approves budget with no Medicaid expansion

Reading List:

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Dem fractures deepen over ObamaCare

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