TELL US: Have you signed up for health care under the Affordable Care Act?

Thursday, February 20, 2014 | 7:48 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Love it or hate it, the Affordable Care Act is on the books.

As of the beginning of February, slightly fewer than 55,000 Missourians had selected an insurance plan through the online marketplace. Three quarters of those registered so far are older than 35.

The law requires most Americans to have health insurance this year; otherwise they may have to pay a fee of up to 1 percent of their income. And with the open-enrollment period ending March 31, there's been a rush to sign up, said Robin Corderman, a certified application counselor at Primaris.

Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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Michael Williams February 20, 2014 | 8:06 p.m.

I guess I'm shocked at the Missourian's approach to this problem: An internet poll with no effort at randomization.

Oh, the questions are fine. They are reasonable and not "pushed".

But, why no effort at randomization to see what this community is really doing? The final data for enrollment this year is March 31, 2014, unless you have a qualifying event; there's plenty of time to do this with a few student-reporters trained in how to randomize.

Have you even published that March 31 date? Have you discussed "qualifying event"? Where's the details on the law as it applies hereabouts?

This effort seems lazy to me and not very informative without randomization. People responding to this survey are most likely already passionate about the issue, one way or the other. Are the "sound bites" you get more important than the data that would detail what this community is thinking as a whole? If so, why do such a thing?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 20, 2014 | 8:08 p.m.

Oops: "The final data for enrollment..."

Should read: "The final date for enrollment..."

(Report Comment)
Frances Webber February 25, 2014 | 4:59 p.m.

Michael, I'm Fran Webber, one of the reporters on this story. You're absolutely right. What we are hoping to get here is more qualitative information, what you call the "sound bites." Mary and I have some stories in the works on this topic and we are trying to reach out to people who have stories to tell. We appreciate your feedback!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 25, 2014 | 5:53 p.m.

Fran: Thanks, but I still don't understand why anecdotal stories are pertinent. We're 5 months into the ACA startup, and the Missourian has remained mysteriously silent about any effects, positive or negative, upon this community. It hasn't published important dates and the implications thereof, it hasn't interviewed hospital administrators, it hasn't interviewed doctors' office managers, it hasn't interviewed insurance agents, it hasn't even interviewed students...a HUGE target age group.

I'm betting that not 1 in 10 Columbians can tell you or me the last date of open ACA enrollment this year without a special exception.

"Stories to tell" are anecdotes, not news.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 25, 2014 | 5:54 p.m.

And that last prediction stands even though you printed it in the article.

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