The Affordable Care Act has already benefited millions of American families: lifetime limits have been eliminated, Americans cannot be denied care or dropped because of a pre-existing condition, and young people can be covered on their parents’ plan until age 26. Now that more than 8 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance plans through the federal and state marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, even more Americans are experiencing the Affordable Care Act’s many benefits. Here is a look at news from around the country on the benefits Americans are seeing:
“The 13.4 percent [uninsured rate] that has held for the past two months is the lowest Gallup has recorded since it began collecting the data in 2008… The report finds blacks and Hispanics saw the sharpest decline in the rate of uninsured.”
“By the end of Obamacare’s open enrollment period, six million additional low-income Americans were enrolled in public insurance programs compared to the period before the health law’s coverage expansion, according to a new report from the Health and Human Services Department. The new enrollees were most highly concentrated in the states that agreed to expand their Medicaid programs.”
“An additional 6 million Americans enrolled in Medicaid and related health programs for the poor compared to before the six-month signup period began last October for the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration said today in a new report.”
“A Gallup Poll in early May showed a steadily decreasing rate of uninsured people across the nation since last fall. That trend is being realized in Iowa, too. Just a few months into the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured Iowans has fallen by 25 percent, according to a new report commissioned by the Iowa Department of Human Services. That is a sizable percentage that should not be discounted.”
“….By all measures, the hard work put in by many stakeholders and health care leaders to get people enrolled has been a success. In addition, the state saw nearly 29,000 Iowans enrolled in private health insurance policies through the federal government's new exchange marketplace, healthcare.gov.”
The continued success of the Affordable Care Act might explain why Republicans have suddenly gone quiet on the issue, abandoning their long-held narrative and seemingly never-ending attempts to repeal it.
“If attacking Obamacare is its number one campaign strategy, the GOP might want to regroup before November… After enduring four years of intense political warfare over the president’s health care law, the majority of voters say they want candidates to stop talking about it and move on, a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found.”
“It was supposed to be so easy this election year for Republican congressional candidates. All they would have to do was shout ‘repeal Obamacare!’ and make a crack about government doctors and broken websites, and they could coast into office on a wave of public fury. The failure of the Affordable Care Act was simply assumed.”
“The government website was fixed, and 8.1 million people managed to sign up for insurance through the exchanges. An additional 4.8 million people received coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Three million people under the age of 26 were covered by their parents’ plans… That sentiment conflicts with the Republican playbook, which party leaders are suddenly trying to rewrite. The result has been an incoherent mishmash of positions, as candidates try to straddle a widening gap between blind hatred of health reform and the public’s growing recognition that much of it is working.”
“Embattled Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell has an Obamacare problem, and not the one you think. His state’s version of the program, KyNect, is so popular and so successful, that if he tells voters outright that he wants to kill it, he might be killing his Senate career, too.”
“By April, Republican moguls quietly disclosed they were abandoning the attack on Obamacare as a primary issue in the 2014 elections, finding the ACA's benefits embraced by voters in even the most conservative states… Nationally, it was estimated at least 6 million Americans would sign up during the enrollment period. About 8 million have joined, nearly 90 percent have paid premiums and 35 percent are young.”
“House Republicans have no scheduled votes or hearings on ObamaCare, signaling a shift in the party’s strategy as the White House rides a wave of good news on the law… The lack of action highlights the GOP’s struggle to adjust its message now that enrollment in the exchanges beat projections and the uninsured rate is going down. Insurers also report that 80 to 90 percent of new policyholders are paying their premiums, contradicting a frequent criticism from the GOP.”
“Major health insurers say at least 80 percent of the people enrolled in their ObamaCare plans have paid their first premium.”
“While 14.5% of people eligible to enroll in the federal marketplace were Latino, the Obama administration reached 10.7% of enrollees who identified as Hispanic. But the true number could be higher because a third of those who enrolled did not report their race/ethnicity… The enrollment numbers represent a historic breakthrough for the Hispanic community. The Obama administration has taken a first step toward providing better health outcomes, longer lives and greater peace of mind for Latinos. And that, unquestionably, is big news.”
Many Republicans were rooting for the Affordable Care Act to fail, but now it’s impossible to ignore its many accomplishments. Democrats remain committed to protecting the Affordable Care Act and working with Republicans to ensure that the law is fully implemented so that it will benefit many more Americans for years to come.