ACA Is Working, Sort Of. Now Fix It.

U.S. uninsured rate falls to 15%. Millions of people have found insurance through the Affordable Care Act and healthcare.gov. I think it is becoming clear that such a program, while flawed in many ways, has begun to help us down the road to improve healthcare in this country. While insuring these millions of people will presumably cost taxpayers more in the short run, perhaps overall health care expenditures may decrease through better care.

What I hope now is that Congressional leaders realize that fixing the existing laws makes much more sense than continuing to flail around, helplessly arguing for full repeal, something that doesn't look even remotely possible. Exhort your leaders to fix ACA now.

Excerpts as follows from the AMA:

Survey: US uninsured rate fell to 15% under ACA.

A late-breaking report garnered coverage across several major national websites Thursday morning. The New York Times (7/10, Sanger-Katz, Subscription Publication) “Upshot” blog highlights the new survey, out of the Commonwealth Fund, which shows that not only did many people sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, but those that did so are “pretty happy with their purchases.” In total, the study found “that about 15 percent of adults younger than 65 now lack health insurance, down from 20 percent before the Affordable Care Act rolled out in January.” Moreover, “73 percent of people who bought health plans and 87 percent of those who signed up for Medicaid said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their new health insurance.”

        McClatchy (7/10, Pugh, Subscription Publication) reports that the survey determined that “some 9.5 million Americans gained health coverage during the recent marketplace enrollment period.” And, “young adults ages 19-34, whose participation in the Affordable Care Act’s coverage initiative was crucial but always uncertain, saw some of the largest coverage gains.” Overall, “their uninsured rate fell from 28 percent to 18 percent.”

        CNBC (7/10, Mangan) reports that the survey reveals that “young adults, Latinos and the poor” have emerged as “Obamacare’s big winners.” These groups, the article explained, “long had the toughest time affording health insurance,” yet have seen “larger drops in their uninsured rates after the launch of Obamacare than any other group.”

        In its coverage, the Huffington Post (7/10, Young) points out the discrepancy in the figures between states that expanded Medicaid and those that did not. Indeed, in states that opted out, “more than one-third of their lowest-income residents remain uninsured, a rate virtually unchanged from last year, even as millions gained coverage elsewhere.”