State's Uninsured Dropped 42% Under ACA

State's Uninsured Dropped 42% Under ACA

Using electronic health record data from 10 states that expanded Medicaid and six states that did not, a new study examined 359 community health centers and 870,319 patients with more than four million visits.

The figures further complicate GOP efforts to repeal ObamaCare, which have slowed in recent months. Despite the drop, Texas still reported the highest uninsured rate of all 50 states - and nearly double the national uninsured rate of 8.8 percent. Indeed, the ACA's Medicaid expansion seems to be the most important factor explaining the decline in the uninsured since 2013.

The departure means consumers will have fewer insurance choices.

As for the uninsured statistics, there was little change in the state rankings from past year.

Nationally, the percentage of Americans with health insurance coverage for all or part of 2016 was 91.2 percent, 0.3 percentage points higher than the rate in 2015, the Census report found.

But there were sharp differences in the percentage of people uninsured at different ages, "reflecting the fragmented nature of the USA health insurance system, " the Commonwealth Fund report said. The expansion of the government's health insurance program for the low-income went into effect in 2014. Approximately 218,000 fewer Wisconsin residents were uninsured past year than in 2013, a decline of 42 percent.

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The law gives states the option of expanding Medicaid to low-income people. During 2016, MA had the lowest uninsured rate at 2.5%, while Texas had the highest at 16.6%. This definitely is not a time to reverse direction by slashing funding for Medicaid and repealing key portions of the federal health care reform law.

While the percentage of insured Americans continued to fall in 2016, supporters of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are anxious that decisions and inactions by the President Donald Trump's administration may lose those gains in the coming years. "This is all the more reason to continue improving on current law".

Like Texas, Florida can partially attribute its higher-than-average uninsured rate to a large immigrant population and a strict Medicaid program. The Census report also said that, "In 2016, private health insurance coverage continued to be more prevalent than government coverage, at 67.5 percent and 37.3 percent, respectively". The percentage of employer-based insurance plans has stayed around the same since 2013 (55.7% of plans).

In 2016, non-Hispanic Whites had the lowest uninsured rate among race and Hispanic origin groups, at 6.3 percent. "Between 2015 and 2016, the rate of Medicare coverage increased by 0.4 percentage points to cover 16.7 percent of people for part or all of 2016 (up from 16.3 percent in 2015)", Census said in its report.

Georgia hasn't moved from its position as the state with the third-highest uninsured rate.

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