How to tell if Obamacare is working

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Digital First Media has eleven ways to tell whether President Obama’s health care reform law is working as the insurance exchanges launch in the coming weeks.

Experts expect people to sign up for insurance in waves. The first will be right after the marketplaces open on Oct. 1. The second will be before Dec. 15, the deadline to buy a policy that starts on the new year. And the last is just before March 31, the last day to buy 2014 coverage before receiving a tax penalty… The first two deadlines will give a sense of whether there are major problems, but given how many people wait until the last minute to file their taxes, the third is the most important.

Some states have embraced the law, expanding Medicaid, setting up insurance exchanges and promoting signups. They’ll be the best test of whether the law works, so look at the number of uninsured in those states at the end of next year… For big states, California and New York are good bellwethers. Among mid-sized states, Colorado and Maryland. And for smaller states, Oregon and Vermont.

Will any Republican pundits or officials change their minds on the law this year?… It’s much more likely that a pundit, especially a contrarian like Newt Gingrich, or a retired politician will make the leap, but a governor or two may also be in the mix.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.