Dec 4, 2018

ACA enrollment slides even with state mandates

NJ.com raises a good point: New Jersey has done just about everything it can to counteract the Trump administration’s cuts to the ACA. Yet ACA enrollment is down by about 16% this year in the state.

Between the lines: Enrollment is down across the board, compared to the same period a year ago.

  • Some critics and commentators have attributed to drop to the Trump administration’s actions — including the nullification of the individual mandate; steep cuts to outreach and PR efforts; and the expansion of bare-bones “short-term plans” that could compete with ACA coverage.
  • But New Jersey has done more than any other state to preserve the ACA’s intended structure. It has passed its own individual mandate; banned short-term plans; and gotten federal approval for a reinsurance program to reduce premiums.
  • It has also, per NJ.com, spent more than $800,000 to promote enrollment this year.

The bottom line: Trump’s anti-ACA moves have gotten a lot of attention, so it’s entirely possible some people in New Jersey don’t know they’re still subject to a coverage mandate.

  • But even so, all of this still suggests that an individual mandate isn't super effective at getting people to enroll, and that short-term plans don't explain too much of the nationwide exodus — since neither of those factors is relevant in New Jersey.

Go deeper: Trump's pre-existing conditions promise clashes with ACA lawsuit

Go deeper

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show improvements in a job market devastated by the coronavirus pandemic as economies reopen, the government said.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.

1 hour ago - Sports

How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The NBA's Board of Governors approved Thursday the league's 22-team plan to resume play at Walt Disney World — a plan that also includes tentative dates for both this season and next.

Why it matters: The league's proposed trip to Disney World not only impacts this season but could have a domino effect that impacts seasons in the future — and could permanently change what time of year the NBA plays its games.