Nearly Nine Out of Ten Americans Now Have Health Insurance Thanks to the Affordable Care Act
Some more big health care news is out today that continues to prove that the Affordable Care Act is working. And while some conservatives continue their efforts to dismantle it, others are finally putting people over politics.
Gallup released a survey this morning showing that the uninsured rate among U.S. adults fell to 11.9 percent this quarter, the lowest rate since it started tracking insurance rates in 2008. It is a one percentage point drop from last quarter, and a 6.1 point drop from the middle of 2013, just before the state and federal health exchanges opened for business. That’s a whopping 34 percent drop in uninsured American adults in less than two years.
In addition to this good news, a conservative-leaning state is also taking a huge step in expanding health care for its residents. This weekend in Montana, the Republican-controlled House approved a bill to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill into law, which would make the state the 29th to expand Medicaid and give health coverage to up to 70,000 more Montanans.
While Montana is taking the right step both morally and economically for its residents, Florida is moving backwards. Talks to expand health care there have hit a roadblock, with GOP Gov. Rick Scott completing a flip-flop-flip from being against Medicaid expansion, to being for it, now back to being against it. Florida would benefit more than almost any other state in the nation from the move, but conservatives continue to play politics.
Speaking of conservative elected officials in Florida, those at the federal level are also ignoring the facts on health care. Sen. Marco Rubio, who is officially announcing his candidacy for president today, has consistently advocated the repeal of the health care law. And while it is expected that the 43-year-old Cuban-American will play up his heritage on the campaign trail, the fact remains that Hispanics are one of the demographics that has benefited the most from the Affordable Care Act, and would benefit from closing the coverage gap as well.
BOTTOM LINE: The Affordable Care Act is a profoundly important public policy and the evidence continues to pile up showing its effectiveness in providing health care to Americans. It’s time that all conservative lawmakers at the state and federal level look at the facts and stop playing politics with their constituents’ well-being.
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