Presenting ACA Signups: The Daily Kos Archive

2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

OK, let me get this out of the way up front: Yes, this is pretty self-serving of me, and kind of stupid, but it's something which has been bugging me for four years now, so I finally decided to do something about it.

As longtime readers know, ACA Signups didn't start out as a full website. Originally it consisted entirely of a Google Docs spreadsheet with a domain name pointing to it. The domain wasn't even ACASignups.net; I started out using ObamacareSignups.net, which still repoints to the site today. I changed it after the first month or so not because I have a problem with "Obamacare" but because ACASignups.net is simply faster to type out.

The ACA Signups project actually started out as a series of blog posts over at Daily Kos, one of the largest online progressive political sites in the country, where I had already been posting under the name Brainwrap on any number of issues for nearly a decade.

The idea popped into my head immediately after posting this blog entry on October 11, 2013. The first Open Enrollment Period had been ongoing for 11 days, bogged down by two major issues: The disastrous technical mess surrounding HealthCare.Gov's launch, and the Ted Cruz/GOP-created government shutdown/temper tantrum over the ACA actually being, you know, implemented.

Here's the exact passage which inspirted what would eventually become ACASignups.net (emphasis added):

Seriously, though, HHS should really start releasing the official (accurate) numbers of actual signups for all 50 states (or at the very least, the 36 states that they're responsible for) on a daily--or at least, weekly--basis. I don't care if it's a pitifully small number. 100,000? 10,000? 100? 10? Even if it's in single digits, release the damned numbers. Be upfront about it. Everyone knows by now how f*** up the website is, so be honest and just give out the accurate numbers as they come in.

Besides, that'll make it all the more impressive when those numbers start to (hopefully) skyrocket over the next 2 1/2 months.

The next day I registered ObamacareSignups.net, and the rest followed from there.

I didn't actually turn the domain into a full website until late December, and the first blog post here wasn't until December 28th, 2013. Until now, all of the earlier entries were only available over at Daily Kos. It's been bothering me ever since then that I didn't have a complete archive of the entries in a single location, so over the past few days I've gone ahead and ported every all 50 or so of here at ACASignups.net, under the dKos Archive tag.

So, for the handful of nostalgic healthcare wonks who are really fascinated by this sort of thing, now you can relive those heady, confusing, absurd early days:

  • MARVEL at how I didn't know what the hell I was doing!
  • WONDER how I could mix together QHP selections and Medicaid enrollments into a single number!
  • CHUCKLE at how crude the very first version of The Graph was!*
  • BE EMBARRASSED FOR ME as you see how desperate my pleas for others to assist in data collection were!

I realize hardly anyone besides me will find these early entries of much interest, but since the site has been going for over 4 years now, it seemed like it was time to put everything under one roof. So...enjoy.

*OK, so you don't have to go digging, here's what the very first version looked like on November 18, 2013: