Thursday, September 15, 2016

Figures Show Obamacare Is Working But Could Be Better

These charts were made with information from the new report from the United States Census Bureau. It shows that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (commonly called Obamacare) has been successful in reducing the number of uninsured Americans -- from 14.5% in 2013 (before implementation) to 9.4% in 2015.

While the 5.1 point reduction is definitely a good thing, it is not yet enough. Having 9.4% of the population without any health insurance (and therefore denied life-saving preventative care) is unacceptable. But much of that 9.4% is due not to Obamacare, but to Republican-controlled states that refuse to expand Medicaid. If Medicaid had been expanded in all states, the uninsured figure would be much lower -- and Obamacare could be adjusted to cover all citizens.

The charts below show the percentage of uninsured citizens in each of the 50 states (and the District of Columbia). Note that the percentage of uninsured citizens has gone down in every state. It is, however, lower in the states that have expanded Medicaid.

Texas still leads the nation in the percentage of uninsured at 17.1% (about 4,697,184 people), followed by Alaska (14.9%), Georgia (13.9%), Oklahoma (13.9%), Florida (13.3%), and Mississippi (12.7%). Note that they are all Republican-controlled states that refused to expand Medicaid.

The states with the lowest percentage of uninsured citizens are Massachusetts (2.8%), District of Columbia (3.8%), Vermont (3.8%), Hawaii (4%), and Iowa (5%) -- all states that have expanded Medicaid.

Obamacare is not perfect, and reasonable changes need to be made to it -- but it is undeniably working better than the previous system.

1 comment:

  1. "Having 9.4% of the population without any health insurance (and therefore denied life-saving preventative care) is unacceptable.”

    This situation goes beyond each individual it affects everyone in the community that relies on a finite supply of medical care. Preventative care and having a personal physician not only improves an individuals health but it frees up urgent and emergency care resources for everyone else. Being able to properly care for the Super-utilizer patients (the 5% that drive 50% of healthcare costs) helps all of us. Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid provides a way to pay for this type of care. Governors who opt out are committing murder.


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