Just over one million Texans had signed up on the federal health insurance exchange as of last Saturday, signaling a steady drumbeat of interest and giving local advocates a chance for some celebration.
“I will take it,” Ken Janda, president and CEO of Community Health Choice, a Houston-based non-profit health plan offering insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace, said Tuesday when he heard the numbers.
The 1,040,246 Texas enrollees included those signing up for the first time and people renewing existing coverage, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services statistics released Tuesday.
Nationally, 8.2 million had signed up as of last week, topping last year’s numbers for the same time period by about 2 million, she said, the agency announced.
“We have never seen this level of activity,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said during a conference call with reporters and community groups across the country. Calling the demand “unprecedented,” she added: “This is what we wanted to see.”
For comparison, the numbers were 734K in 2014, and 850K for 2015. They won’t change the mind of anyone whose mind needs to be changed, but this law has made a big difference in a lot of people’s lives. People can believe whatever BS they want to believe, but a million people who can see a doctor and who can not have to worry about being bankrupted by an illness know better. Kevin Drum, who looks at the national numbers, has more.