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You don’t get much credit for fixing something that should have worked in the first place, but the Obama administration has avoided a major catastrophe by delivering on its promise to fix HealthCare.gov for most Americans.

After two months of barely functioning, the federal online health care exchanges delivered, racking up 975,000 enrollments in the month of December. That brings the total number of people who have picked a plan through an exchange since October 1 to about two million. The administration reached about two-thirds of its goal of enrolling 3.3 million by the end of 2013 after being fully operational one-third of the time. And it turns out most of the enrollments came during the one-week extension the White House gave itself after the initial problems with the site became apparent.

Four million people have qualified for Medicaid, according to ACASignups.net. Another 3.1 million young adults are covered by their parents’ health insurance, thanks to a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

This means over nine million people have gained coverage through the ACA since it first became law.

That number could easily shrink or grow as insurers report on how many people purchased ACA-compliant policies directly through them. It’s also unclear how many canceled policies were replaced by plans purchased through the exchanges.

Looking at the rate of enrollments for Medicare Part D, president of health research firm Avalere Health Dan Mendelson believes that the administration can hit its goal of seven million enrollments by the close of open enrollment on March 31.

“Where they are, with about two million enrolled, if they continue to enroll at the present rate, and there’s a little acceleration at the end, they could get to seven million,” Mendelson told the Washington Post‘s Sarah Kliff.

However, Republicans are still predicting doom for the president’s signature legislative accomplishment, suggesting that the disastrous rollout of the exchanges is just the beginning of the problems.

“Just about everyone on the right is still living in October, the annus horribilis of Obamacare (yes, I know it was just a month, and I don’t care), and is waiting to move in for the kill after the whole thing collapses,” The New York Times‘ Paul Krugman wrote.

Republicans are assuming that the estimated 3 percent of Americans who will be paying more under the law along with disruptions of relationships with doctors will overwhelm both the news of millions gaining coverage and Republican states denying Medicaid expansion to five million working people.

Predictions of Obamacare’s death made sense when it seemed a very real possibility that HealthCare.gov could not be fixed.

Now that those predictions have been proven wrong, the law will have a chance to be judged on its merits.

Photo: Will O’Neill via Flickr

Blake Neff

Twitter screenshot

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

On July 10, CNN's Oliver Darcy reported that Blake Neff, the top writer for Tucker Carlson's prime-time Fox News show, had been anonymously posting racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and other offensive content on an online forum for five years. Neff used racist and homophobic slurs, referred to women in a derogatory manner, and pushed white supremacist content while writing for Carlson's show. Neff resigned after CNN contacted him for comment.

As Darcy reported, in an interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff claimed anything Carlson read during his show was initially drafted by him. Darcy also found instances where there was "some overlap between the forum and the show," as sometimes the "material Neff encountered on the forum found its way on to Carlson's show."

During a 2018 appearance on Fox's The Five to promote his book Ship of Fools, Carlson mentioned Neff by name, calling him a "wonderful writer." Carlson also included Neff in the acknowledgments of the book.


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Before joining Fox News, Neff worked at The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet that Carlson co-founded. The outlet has published a number of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and bigots.


Carlson has a long history of promoting white supremacist content on his show. His show has featured many guests who have connections to white supremacy and far-right extremism. Carlson has regularly been praised by Neo-Nazis and various far-right extremist figures, and he's been a hero on many white supremacist podcasts. Users of the extremist online message boards 4chan and 8chan have repeatedly praised Carlson.

The manifesto released by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 was strewn with content that echoed talking points from Carlson's show. Days after the shooting, Carlson declared that calling white supremacy a serious issue is a "hoax" as it is "actually not a real problem in America."

Carlson has been hemorrhaging advertisers following his racist coverage of the Black Lives Matters movement and the recent protests against police brutality. Now that we know his top writer was using content from white supremacist online message boards for Carlson's show, it is more imperative than ever that advertisers distance their brands away from this toxicity.