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High Uninsurance post-ACA for Low-Income, Black, Hispanic

Summary: This study used a national survey to document high levels of uninsurance among vulnerable populations after ACA implementation, especially in states not choosing to expand Medicaid – up to 40-60% for some groups in some states. Sadly, but unsurprisingly, the ACA falls far short.

States’ Performance in Reducing Uninsurance Among Black, Hispanic, and Low-Income Americans Following Implementation of the Affordable Care Act
Health Equity
July 21, 2021
By G. Lines et al.

From the abstract:

Purpose: To assess state-level variation in changes in uninsurance among Black, Hispanic, and low-income Americans after implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [in 2014].

Methods: We analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 2012 to 2016 …

Results: The range in the percentage point reduction in uninsurance varied substantially across states: 19-fold for Black (0.9–17.4), 18-fold for Hispanic (1.2–21.5), and 23-fold for low-income (1.0–27.8) adults. … In some states, more than one quarter of Black, one half of Hispanic, and approaching one half of low-income adults remained uninsured after full implementation of the ACA. Compared with states in the lowest quintile of change in coverage, states in the highest quintile experienced greater improvements in ability to see a physician.

From Fig 3, for Low Income individuals. Dark bars are states that expanded Medicaid.

Comment by: Jim Kahn

National averages for uninsurance don’t do justice to the dismal post-ACA shortfalls for vulnerable groups – Blacks, Hispanics, and low-income. Especially in states that failed to expand Medicaid, but also in states that did expand. As this study demonstrates, these shortfalls impair ability to see a physician, and that, we know, worsens health outcomes.

How long will our country continue its commitment to highly inefficient convoluted health insurance schemes when there is a simple, efficient, equitable solution waiting for us to pluck it off the shelf and put it in place?

Single payer would not need studies or graphics like this. We’d just cover everyone.

Please.

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