So demand still appears to be there, despite weeks of deservedly awful press about the website and the law, and weeks of Republican claims that the law is so disastrously flawed that it cannot be rescued.
Along those lines, Kevin Drum captures what matters most about the news of the moment in one half a sentence:
if you need to buy health coverage via healthcare.gov, you can do it
This really is the rub. Sure, there will be continued problems. Charles Ornstein personally had a terrible experience. Sarah Kliff found the site is still not working for everybody. And the snafus at the back end may persist, too.
But the big picture is that far more people who need health insurance — whether they were bumped from plans or whether they were previously uninsured — will now be mostly able to go online, do some shopping, and buy health insurance. Before, they couldn’t.
This isn’t as good a story as the website’s implosion was, and if the site continues to function as expected, it will mostly stop getting media coverage. The press will move on to the next Obamacare disaster story, should it materialize: The “keep your doctor” saga, coming soon via Republican press release directly to reporters’ inboxes.
But the current fix has mostly tamped down concerns among Democratic lawmakers, and barring some truly catastrophic change, they just aren’t going to abandon the law in any meaningful sense. Meanwhile, demand looks likely to continue, even as insurance companies redouble their efforts to entice people on to the exchanges, which means enrollment will continue piling up, too.
Will it be enough? It’s too soon to say. Republican lawmakers and their voters have been 100 percent certain for some time now that Obamacare has already collapsed, but for everyone else, the law’s long term prospects will turn mostly on what that enrollment looks like over time. And for that, we’ll just have to wait.