“The ACA gave states a number of choices in how to implement the broad coverage changes it required. As such, health reform looks different from state to state, and the impact of the ACA may or may not differ because of these state decisions. This Data Brief examines a number of choices related to the establishment and running of the new health insurance marketplaces, and their potential impact on enrollment rates to date. We use existing data sources as well as a new database, HIX 2.0, which provides a rich array of state-level variables to provide an ongoing picture of ACA implementation. HIX 2.0, developed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, documents and codes state-level variation in the political setting, institutional structures, and operational decisions likely to affect outcomes on the marketplaces.”

“The Obama administration has decided to give extra time to Americans who say that they are unable to enroll in health plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline.”

“U.S. consumers eligible for Obamacare health plans could see double-digit price hikes next year in states that fail to draw large numbers of enrollees for 2014, including some states that have been hostile to the healthcare law, according to insurance industry officials and analysts.”

“The Obama administration announced they hit their revised goal of 6 million enrollees on the Affordable Care Act exchanges this week, several days before enrollment closes tomorrow. Politically, hitting this benchmark is an important symbol for the administration, as it has struggled to recover from the disastrous rollout of the insurance exchange websites this fall. But policy-wise, it doesn’t mean nearly as much. And it may take until 2016 to really see if the law is successful at consistently getting lots of Americans affordable health insurance.”

“The Fact Checker has written often about the problems with claims based on the number of new insurance enrollees under the Affordable Care Act. Yet here is the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate trotting out the same tired talking point. So let’s review what’s wrong with this figure, especially if someone is using it to claim that these people are all newly insured.”

“Health insurance reform was long overdue. But did it need to be done the way the architects of the Affordable Care Act did it?

Obamacare was enacted, and the private health insurance market fundamentally changed, so that we could cover millions of people who previously couldn’t get coverage.”

“Obamacare is still struggling to sign up young people. In order to offset the high cost of the older, and probably less healthy people who are joining Obamacare plans, the White House must coerce a sufficient number of thirty-somethings to also join. Problem is, the health plans are too pricey to make economic sense for many young adults.”

“Earlier today, Marilyn Tavenner of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that “more than 6 million Americans have signed up for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces since October 1, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.” Given all of the technical problems that dogged healthcare.gov last October, this is an impressive turnaround. But it sheds little light onto the two questions most analysts are focused on. First, how many of those signing up have paid their first month’s premium, thereby activating coverage? And second: How many of those with coverage were previously uninsured? At this point, we have no definitive answers.”

“Health insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross said it won’t participate in California’s new insurance market for small businesses. Anthem, a unit of WellPoint Inc., is California’s largest insurer for small employers. This surprising move could hamper the state’s ability to enroll businesses in its new exchange called Covered California that opens Jan. 1 as part of the federal healthcare law.”

“As anyone who’s ever worked on a project with an important deadline knows, when someone starts insisting that everything will come in on time, really, trust me, it’s usually because the work isn’t going as planned—especially on project that’s been rife with shoddy management and missed deadlines. The real message of the HHS video is that the agency desperately wants people to think it is on schedule and can make the law work. And it understands that as it stands, its work, and the weight of the available evidence, suggests otherwise.”