Lunchtime Must-Read: Robert Greenstein, President of CBPP: On the Murray-Ryan Budget Agreement
I Agree with Bob Greenstein and Larry Mishel: Budget Deal Does Little **Almost Nothing at All** to Address the **Dire** Needs of the Economy

It Really Looks Like ObamaCare Implementation Is Proceeding Relatively Well in Half the Nation...

...That half of the nation where states built their own exchanges and have begun the expansion of Medicaid, that is:


Dylan Scott: Iowa's Medicaid Expansion Plan Gets Federal Approval:

The Obama administration has approved Iowa's alternative plan for expanding Medicaid under Obamacare--but with one important tweak.... Branstad had asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to allow the state to use Medicaid expansion money to pay for people to purchase private health coverage on to what Arkansas had already received approval for. That would cover people between 100 and 138 percent of the federal poverty level. People below the poverty level would be covered by a modified version of the state's traditional Medicaid program. But Iowa also wanted to require those covered by the expansion to contribute money toward their coverage. CMS said Tuesday that Iowa could implement that requirement for people above the poverty line, but not for people below it...


And Scott Lemieux and his commenters draw the lesson for American public policy:

Scott Lemieux: 1.2 Million:

It’s the number of people who have gotten health insurance since the ACA went into full effect. 803,000 of them became eligible for Medicaid...

And then he turns on the snark:


...under the statute signed by the neoliberal shill in the White House, a number that of course would be much higher had Obama not created the power of judicial review and nominated John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

And his commenters pile on:

Snarki, child of Loki says: December 11, 2013 at 12:06 pm: I also blame Bill Clinton for having 9/11 happen on his watch.

Charlie Sweatpants says: December 11, 2013 at 12:10 pm: That’s ancient history. What you should be doing is blaming Obama for the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

GoDeep says: December 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm: And don’t forget Katrina. Katrina is also his fault. ‘Cuz he’s playing his fiddle while the planet burns.

joe from Lowell says: December 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm: Just like the complete absence of any effort at gun control in his first term, President Obama’s efforts to extend Medicaid is really a ruse to lull us into a false sense of security, so he can pass his real agenda.

laura says: December 11, 2013 at 12:11 pm: The numbers are actually bigger than that I think. Those are completed applications. About twice that number of people (1.5 million as of last week) have been deemed eligible for Medicaid under Obamacare but haven’t yet formally enrolled. Also, lots more people using the exchanges have selected a plan in their “shopping cart” but saved it and not yet “checked out”.

rea says: December 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm: I’ve just about had it with that man in the White House. I keep checking my mailbox, but the pony never gets delivered.

Oregon Beer Snob says: December 11, 2013 at 12:32 pm: And if it does ever show up, I bet it won’t even sparkle!


Before Steven Attewell makes sense:

StevenAttewell says: December 11, 2013 at 12:35 pm: In other words, the ACA is (as I have been arguing to the single payers since 2010, to little avail) single-payer for half [the nation]...

It seems to me that this sucker does still need a public option. Just saying...