In states: Good signs for Obamacare

While the blame game continued inside the Beltway this weekend, Obamacare saw positive coverage in states across the country. From Louisiana where the winning candidate ran in support of Medicaid expansion to Washington State where exchanges are up and running to Iowa and Kentucky where Republican leaders are being taken to task for their gut, block, and repeal strategy, see below for a sampling of news coverage of ACA in the states.

In Florida…"No Apologies – Obamacare Works"
“Detractors ridicule President Obama's apology to people who are ‘losing’ their health-insurance plans. He had no need to apologize to my family. We are grateful for the Affordable Care Act. As for ridicule, consider the source: Most harsh critics are the same politicians who have fought every aspect of affordable health insurance for all. My husband and I buy our own health insurance. We're among those who don't enjoy employer-paid health or other coverage, and we represent only about 5 percent of the population. That's a small number, but you wouldn't guess that from opponents' vitriol or the headlines and TV they command. To these critics of the health law — especially those lamenting the botched implementation of it — spare us your crocodile tears. If there are any apologies, it should come from these unrelenting opponents hell-bent to repeal the reform but who never utter a peep what they would do to replace it.”

In Louisiana…5th District Chooses McAllister Who Ran on Obamacare Medicaid Expansion
“While some thought the all-Republican runoff would be marked by each candidate running to the far right of every issue, McAllister took leave of the usual party line during a debate last week by coming out in support of optional Medicaid expansion offered under the Affordable Care Act. McAllister said he disagreed with Gov. Bobby Jindal's decision not to accept the expansion because of the economic make-up of the 5th District.  According to census data, the district is one of the poorest in the nation with nearly 25 percent of its more than 750,000 people living below the poverty line in 2010 and 21 percent without health insurance. Riser blasted McAllister for the admission, issuing an ad stating ‘a vote for Vance McAllister is a vote for Obamacare.’ He also claimed McAllister flip-flopped on the issue by telling Democrats he supported the health care law and Republicans that he did not.”

In New Jersey…"This is not a political game"…Obamacare Critics "lack credibility"
“This is not a political game. If the reform dies, we will be stuck with a health care system that is the most expensive on Earth by far, and still leaves nearly 50 million people without coverage, most of them in working families that rely on mediocre jobs without benefits. Not surprisingly, those lacking coverage and their children are far more likely to die from a range of treatable diseases, including cancer and diabetes. No other advanced countries tolerate that kind of social Darwinism. It is savage in a nation as rich as ours. And until the opponents of the Affordable Care Act suggest a better way to bring those millions aboard, their criticism will lack credibility.”

In Iowa…DMR Hits Branstad for Blocking Obamacare
“There are now 106,000 Americans who will have comprehensive health insurance coverage on Jan. 1. Hundreds of thousands more will sign up in the coming months as problems with the Website are resolved. Young people are allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance policies, which keeps them off the rolls of the uninsured. Newly created high-risk pools provided temporary relief to Americans who previously couldn’t find insurance anywhere. Some states have enrolled tens of thousands of new, low-income residents in Medicaid…Unlike governors in many other states, Gov. Terry Branstad refused to simply expand a 50-year-old government program to insure more Iowans under the new law. While elected officials in other states quickly agreed to expand Medicaid and then directed their energies to outreach efforts, Iowa’s elected officials spent months arguing about what to do.”

In Kentucky…Tough Questions for McConnell’s Promise to Repeal ACA “root and branch”
“When Sen. Mitch McConnell summoned reporters to his Louisville campaign headquarters last week to denounce the Affordable Care Act, he was asked which parts, if any, are worth keeping. McConnell insisted the law is a "monstrosity" that should be repealed, ‘root and branch.’ His response should make Kentuckians wonder: Does McConnell really want seniors to have to choose between medicine and food? What does he have against the 3 million young adults who have gained health insurance through their parents' plans? And why is he so dismissive of 600,000-plus uninsured Kentuckians — and the enormous expense shifted onto others when they can't get medical care until it becomes more complicated and costly?... Kentucky's exchange is working but it will take time to enroll all who lack preventive care and even more time to improve Kentucky's desultory health status. McConnell should spend a day with one of the navigators who are listening to his constituents and helping them secure health care coverage, many for the first time or at a lower cost. He might not need a health plan to discover he has a heart.”

In Washington..."Washington state is making health exchange work"
“Two years of worry about whether she could stay healthy without a safety net were erased in just 20 minutes Saturday — the time it took the 62-year-old to navigate Washington's online insurance exchange with a little help from "in-person assister" Pearl Rodriguez. Mansfield was one of 100 uninsured women and men who flocked to an aging community center here on a drizzly afternoon and signed up for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, as Obamacare is formally known. They were part of the Washington Healthplanfinder's ‘mobile enrollment tour.’ More than 55,000 people in Washington state enrolled in health coverage in October — most in Medicaid — and about 40,000 more applied for coverage, making the Evergreen State one of the brightest success stories in the rocky national rollout of the federal health law. Here in the home of online shopping giant, officials credit the exchange's success in part to the Pacific Northwest's high-tech bent.”