Friday, December 04, 2015

Obamacare Is Working - But More Must Be Done

The image above is from the Urban Institute's Health Reform Monitoring Survey. It shows there has definitely been a decrease in the number of uninsured Americans thanks to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Here is some of what they had to say:

Fifteen million nonelderly adults gained coverage between September 2013 and March 2015 as the uninsurance rate fell from 17.6 percent to 10.1 percent. . .

The share of nonelderly adults who are uninsured continued to decline following the ACA’s second open enrollment period. As of March 2015, the number of uninsured adults was estimated to be 15.0 million lower than the number of uninsured adults in September 2013, a decrease in the uninsurance rate of 42.5 percent. Coverage gains have been especially large among adults in states that expanded Medicaid and among adults targeted by the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and Marketplace subsidies. . . 

Though providing evidence of the ACA’s significant success at expanding coverage, these new HRMS findings also highlight that roughly 1 in 10 adults remained uninsured nationwide in March 2015, indicating considerable scope for additional reductions in coverage. This is particularly true in nonexpansion states, where coverage is lagging behind coverage in expansion states. According to HRMS data from March 2015, adults in states that had not expanded Medicaid were 1.9 times as likely to be uninsured as adults in states that had expanded Medicaid (14.4 percent vs. 7.5 percent). Of the 22 states that have yet to expand Medicaid, only a handful appear to be actively debating whether to expand.10 Therefore, it is likely that the coverage gap between expansion states and nonexpansion states found here will persist, at least in the near future.

This is good. Regardless of Republican claims to the contrary, Obamacare has successfully reduced the number of uninsured Americans. But the 10.1% who remain uninsured is still too high -- and even if all states were to expand Medicaid and get that percentage down to 7.5% nationally, that would also still be too high.

Health care should be a right of all citizens, and any amount over 0% should be unacceptable. Obamacare helped, but more remains to be done.

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