Today, all but two Senate Republicans voted yes on the “motion to proceed” which formally begins the debate on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It is not clear which legislation the Senate will be debating.
Access to quality health coverage and care is essential to living a healthy life. The Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare), has helped provide coverage to 20 million Americans, including 6 million Latinos since implementation of the law in 2013. These gains have been especially important to the Latino community. The uninsured rate for Latino adults under age 65 has declined by over 40 percent—from 43.2 percent in 2010 to 24.5 percent in 2016—the largest decline of any demographic group.
With a new president and Congress, the health care gains made throughout the last six years face their greatest threat yet. Congress has voted more than 60 times to roll back the historic progress that has been made to expand health coverage to millions of people in this country and to improve coverage for those who already had it. These proposed changes will put the health—and lives—of countless Coloradans at risk. Here’s what Colorado stands to lose if the new president and Congress move forward to upend our health care system:
A new report released last week confirms the findings that enrollment experts emphasized on our teleconference with reporters last Wednesday: We still have a ways to go in getting “hard-to-reach” populations enrolled in health coverage.
In 2014, Colorado accepted federal funds to provide health insurance to more low-income residents through Medicaid. Medicaid expansion gives residents with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($27,720 for a family of three in 2015) the chance to enroll in affordable health insurance. Our analysis finds that 68 percent of those who stand to gain health coverage through Medicaid expansion are working.
States that expand Medicaid are making high-quality health coverage available to many hard-working people who would not otherwise have insurance. These individuals don’t qualify for regular Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance. We looked at data from 11 states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and found that the majority of residents who can benefit from expanded Medicaid are employed.
After expanding Medicaid, eight states (Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia) are expected to achieve budgetary savings and revenue gains exceeding $1.8 billion by the end of 2015, according to a report published yesterday. And that’s even though these states are fairly early into their Medicaid expansion.
Proposed health insurance premium rates for 2015 varied greatly among states and insurers. To limit unreasonable rate increases, Families USA encourages state advocates to engage in the rate review process.
Earlier this year, we explained how advocates can participate in their state’s rate review process to influence the monthly premiums that health insurers are allowed to charge. We reached out to state advocates to “crowdsource” today’s blog about how advocates are challenging proposed rates.
In most states, the health care sector is among the industry sectors with the largest employment. Health care jobs tend to pay more than a state’s median wages, and growth in this sector can have a positive economic effect on other areas of a state’s economy. Many organizations, ours included, have written about the effects of Medicaid expansion on a state’s economy. Recently, Missouri (a state that has not yet expanded Medicaid) compared its employment growth in the health care sector to that of select Medicaid expansion states.
The evidence of Medicaid’s positive impact on hospitals is growing. A recent report from the Colorado Hospital Association found that hospitals in states that have expanded Medicaid are providing free care to fewer uninsured patients. Such care, also known as “charity care,” occurs when patients cannot pay their hospital bills, and represents a significant drain on hospital resources.