This is usually Richard Mayhew’s bailiwick, but I wanted to point out a couple of things in the latest Obamacare sign-up numbers.
Signups for ObamaCare are surging in southern states, with increases of nearly 100 percent in some states compared to last year, federal health officials said Wednesday.
Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Mississippi have each seen 80 percent more signups compared to last year, Deputy Administrator Andy Slavitt said.
The same states are also reporting the fastest rate of growth in the final two weeks of the current enrollment period, which ends Feb. 15. Each of the states has reported 5 percent more signups over the last two weeks compared to last year.
The trend is particularly significant given that the Republican governors in each of the states have made little or no effort to promote signups, leaving the outreach to state and national healthcare advocacy groups. State leaders, like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, have been some of the law’s harshest critics.
“Real simply, I think word is spreading. I think word of mouth is spreading really positively as neighbors tell neighbors how easy it’s been to get coverage this year,” Slavitt told reporters in a briefing Wednesday.
And these new signups on federal exchange red states with no Medicaid expansion are exactly the folks who are going to get screwed should King v Burwell go south in June. They are the most likely to be able to get subsidies because of low income (providing they don’t fall into the gap left by refusal to expand Medicaid), and the ones least likely to be able to afford insurance without them, should Scalia and company have their way.
In other words, Jindal and Abbott and Phil Bryant and Nikki Haley are going to have a bunch of rather angry constituents on their hands. The conventional wisdom is that red state governors are somehow going to be the ones pushing for a post-King fix should it come to that.
I doubt they will. They’ll simply blame Obama and walk away from the mess. It’s not like voters give a damn enough to punish these clowns. It’s possible that there may be a critical mass demanding Congress fix subsidies, but even best case scenario on that is Boehner and McConnell going “OK, so what do you want to give us in order to fix this?” and that’s without a full Tea Party revolt at the idea of “fixing” Obamacare.
It’s just depressing to believe that we’re seriously talking about the likely possibility of the Supreme Court wrecking the lives of millions over a goddamn typo, and it’s just obscene to consider the aftermath of a situation.