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Obamacare sign-up numbers tell story of dysfunction, partisanship and need.


The Obamacare enrollment numbers tells the story of its dysfunctional website and our politics as well: Just 106,185 have selected an Affordable Care plan nationwide since the individual-market plans became available Oct. 1

Only 3,571 – about 3 percent -- are from Florida, the state with the second-highest uninsured rate. Florida has the most enrollees of the 36 states where the federal government is running the Obamacare insurance marketplaces. The state with the highest uninsured rate, Texas, has even fewer selectees, 2,991.

Those numbers also tell a story of partisanship and of need.

Both states are Republican run and opted to fight the Democrat-passed Affordable Care Act at every turn. So they didn’t establish a state-based insurance-selection marketplaces.

Democratically run California cooperated. And so it has 35,364 -- 10 times as many enrollees as Florida. Democrat-run New York also tried to make Obamacare work. It has 16,404 enrollees.

Overall, only 25 percent of selectees come from the 36 states that partly or fully left the marketplaces in federal hands. And therefore 75 percent come from the 15 states and District of Columbia that tried to make it work.

But the failures of Health and Human Services to make Obamacare’s enrollment website optimal has taken its toll. The relatively low enrollment figures could also be the result of bad publicity over the website or people waiting until they have to enroll next year. Or it could be all three.

Meantime, hundreds of thousands of Floridians and millions of Americans are getting notices from their insurance companies that their existing plans are being canceled and that they're eligible for new ACA plans. Those numbers were not included in HHS' press release.

Some of the new ACA will cost people more money. Some will cost people less (largely because of subsidies but also because some with pre-existing conditions won't face discrimination/higher rates any more).

The balance of winners and losers is unclear from a policy perspective right now.

From a political perspective, President Obama is a big loser as of late. His pledge that you could keep your insurance plan if you like it was patently false. Now more people distrust than trust him, his approval ratings overall are tanking and Republicans in Congress are viewed as viable alternatives to Obama on everything from healthcare to immigration, according to Quinnipiac's latest poll.

In a country with an estimated 40 million or more uninsured people, only 1,509,883 people applied for Obamacare plans, of them 1,081,592 were eligible and, of them, about 30 percent qualified for subsidies to defray the costs of insurance (326,130). So far, just 846,184 completed applications.

The Florida numbers: Completed applications: 67,366. Applied: 123,870. Eligible: 93,456 (32 percent, or 29,637, qualified for subsidies). Florida also had the seventh-highest number of applicants eligible for Medicaid or CHIP: 12,887.

Like Texas, Florida refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. That means about 850,000 people who could get the government-run insurance can't.

States that managed their own marketplaces saw higher Medicaid/CHIP eligibles. The top 10:

California     79,519
Washington     48,196
Kentucky      28,676
New York      23,902
Illinois      19,447
New Jersey      17,460
Florida      12,887
Texas      11,682
Arizona      11,339
Indiana      11,305

“These early enrollment-related statistics suggest that, in spite of recent information system and website issues, interest in the Marketplaces is high,” HHS said in its press release.

Just imagine if they built a functional website that worked well from the start?

Here's the HHS report Download Mid-Nov Enrollment ReportEMBARGOED UNTIL 330PMNOV 13.2013 final