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States That Embraced Health Law Show Biggest Gains in Reducing Uninsured Margot Sanger-Katz NY Times August 5, 2014

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Presentation on theme: "States That Embraced Health Law Show Biggest Gains in Reducing Uninsured Margot Sanger-Katz NY Times August 5, 2014"— Presentation transcript:

1 States That Embraced Health Law Show Biggest Gains in Reducing Uninsured Margot Sanger-Katz NY Times August 5, 2014

2 Impact of ACA We’ve seen a few polls now that have demonstrated a real, measurable drop in the number of Americans who lack health insurance since the Affordable Care Act’s major provisions kicked in this January. Now we finally have a picture of what’s happening at the state level. A new survey from Gallup shows that states that have fully embraced the health reform law are doing much better at getting the uninsured covered than those that have rejected it. States with the biggest gains were all those that both expanded their Medicaid programs to cover all poor residents and participated to some degree in setting up marketplaces where middle-income people could shop for commercial health insurance.new survey from Gallup

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4 Two Americas I’ve written before about the “two Americas” in health care, with richer Democratic-leaning states expanding coverage to more of their populations and poorer Republican- leaning states sitting out the expansion. The Gallup numbers demonstrate the big difference the Affordable Care Act could have for the country’s poorer states.“two Americas” in health care In the new poll, Arkansas and Kentucky have had the largest reductions in uninsured rates in the country. Arkansas reduced its rate by more than 10 percentage points, to 12.4% from 22.5% last year; the rate in Kentucky declined by 8.5 percentage points. (The margin of error for the results varies by state size, but is around plus or minus two percentage points for those two.) West Virginia also made Gallup’s top-10 list. These 3 states had very high numbers of residents who lacked insurance and qualified for the new public programs.

5 Some joined … some didn’t Leaders in Arkansas and Kentucky fought political headwinds to change their health insurance systems. Arkansas’s Republican-majority legislature embraced the Medicaid expansion only after devising a creative and unusual approach, using private insurance for many of the newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries. Kentucky’s governor, the Democrat Steve Beshear, managed to start an exchange and expand Medicaid without involving his state’s legislature. They stand out dramatically compared with neighboring states. Look at Tennessee, which borders Arkansas and Kentucky. It neither expanded Medicaid nor ran its own exchange. Its rate of uninsurance went down, too, but by much less — only 2.4 percentage points.

6 The Economics Exchanges – Like Orbitz ® for health insurance. Example is Massachusetts Connector.Massachusetts Connector Expansion of Medicaid – What is Medicaid?


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