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

Pence aide says intel report of Russia helping Trump is "false information"

Marc Short. Screenshot: Fox News

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it "false information" that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The big picture: Short and national security adviser Robert O'Brien both dismissed reports published in the Washington Post and New York Times last week about a briefing provided by top election security official Shelby Pierson, an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

Clyburn: Sanders' "socialist" label will be "extra burden" in House races

Jim Clyburn with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Sen. Bernie Sanders' identification as a democratic socialist may be an "extra burden" in down-ballot House races if he were to win the Democratic nomination.

Why it matters: Clyburn's comments echo fears from many establishment Democrats, who worry the House majority they won in 2018 by taking moderate seats carried by President Trump could be at risk with Sanders at the top of the ticket.