Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Uninsured Americans - The Politics of Health Care

According to a poll by Gallup, since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured Americans has slowly dropped but at widely varying rates depending on an adult's state of residence.

Here is a chart showing the five top states with the largest reductions in uninsured residents when comparing the level of uninsured from 2013 to mid-2014:

Of the ten states that report the largest declines in uninsured residents, all ten expanded Medicaid and established state-based marketplace exchanges or state-federal partnerships.

In 2013, the states that chose to expand Medicaid and set up their own exchanges had an uninsured rate of 16.1 percent compared to 18.7 percent for the remaining states, a difference of 2.6 percentage points.  In mid-2014, the 21 states that implemented both Medicaid expansions and their own state exchanges saw their uninsured rates drop to 12.1 percent, a drop of 4.0 percentage points.  This compares to a 16.5 percent uninsured rate, a drop of 2.2 percentage points, for the 29 states that implemented only one of the aforementioned actions or neither.

Here is a chart showing the top five states with the highest uninsured rates in 2013 and their corresponding rates in mid-2014:

Here is a chart showing the top five states with the least change (or the largest increase) in uninsured rates between 2013 and mid-2014:

Lastly, here is a chart showing the top five states with the highest uninsured rates in mid-2014:

Here is a map from The Commonwealth Fund showing the types of health insurance exchanges that each state has:

Here is a map showing which states are refusing to expand Medicaid coverage and how many residents in those states will remain uninsured:

According to the White House, by refusing to expand Medicaid, state governments will leave 5.7 million Americans uninsured.

And, to close this posting off, here is a map of the red and blue states from the 2012 election showing the overlap:

 Ah, the politics of health care.  There's been nothing quite like it since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act first saw the light of day way back in 2009.

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