Obamacare works

The Census Bureau has a report out on the number of uninsured in the US in 2013 and 2014. Let’s see the conclusions:

The percentage of people without health insurance coverage decreased sharply between 2013 and 2014 by just under 3.0 percentage points, specifically, by 2.9 percentage points as measured by the CPS ASEC. The ACS measured a comparable decline. The CPS ASEC uninsured rate, which represents the percentage of the population who had no health insurance coverage during the entire year, changed from 13.3 percent in 2013 to 10.4 percent in 2014.

After several years of a relatively stable uninsured rate between 2008 and 2013, as measured by the ACS, the percentage of the population who were uninsured dropped between
2013 and 2014, marking the largest percentage-point decline in the uninsured rate during this period

Let’s put that in context:

In 2014, 10.4 percent of people (or 33.0 million) were uninsured for the entire calendar year. This was a decrease of 2.9 percentage points from 2013, when 13.3 percent (or 41.8 million) were uninsured for the entire calendar year.

Hmm, I wonder how widespread it was?

Between 2013 and 2014, every state and the District of Columbia experienced a decrease in their uninsured rate

People of all education levels experienced an increase in the rate of health insurance coverage between 2013 and 2014.

Between 2013 and 2014, health insurance coverage rates increased for each income category.

Between 2013 and 2014, the population living at every income-to-poverty ratio level experienced a decrease in their uninsured rate.

Between 2013 and 2014, all of the family status groups experienced an increase in health insurance coverage rates.

Between 2013 and 2014, health insurance coverage rates increased for all nativity groups.

Between 2013 and 2014, the overall rate of health insurance coverage increased for all race and Hispanic-origin groups.

The percentage of people without health insurance coverage dropped for every single age under 65 between 2013 and 2014

It sure does seem that it helped pretty much all groups of people. I wonder how the states that resisted it did:

Variation in both the uninsured rate and change in the uninsured rate by state may be related to whether the state expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act. In general, in 2014, the uninsured rate in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility was lower than in states that did not expand eligibility. In states that expanded Medicaid eligibility (“expansion states”), the uninsured rate in 2014 was 9.8 percent, compared with 13.5 percent in states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility (“nonexpansion states”).

The decrease in the uninsured rate was 3.4 percentage points in expansion states, compared with 2.3 percentage points in non-expansion states.

That’s good work there by the Republican governors–their states, on average, had a higher percent of residents without health insurance before the expansion AND their states decreased the rate of those without insurance less. If the non-expansion states had reduced the uninsured rate as much as the expansion states (and their reduction should have been larger since they started with a higher rated of uninsured) then that would mean the rate would have decreased by 3.4% overall which means about 1.5 million more Americans would have insurance.

Hey, that’s a great slogan for the Republicans–“we kept 1.5 million Americans from getting health insurance”.

On the other hand, maybe Republicans don’t want to trumpet this which may be why Obamacare has barely been mentioned in the first two Republican debates.

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