Washington, D.C. — As the Republican-controlled House of Representatives continues to waste more of its time by voting for the 40th time to repeal the Affordable Care Act at the end of this week, a new report released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund finds that many of the regions in the United States — including California — desperately need the protections and coverage provided by Obamacare but are represented by members who are working to dismantle the legislation.
“Too many politicians are putting more energy into political stunts than helping their constituents take advantage of benefits from the Affordable Care Act. Sadly, our new report demonstrates that many of the counties that stand to benefit the most from the new healthcare law are represented by Obamacare opponents who refuse to help families and businesses in their communities benefit from these reforms,” said Tom Perriello, President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Elected officials should meet their obligation to help constituents comply with and benefit from the laws and healthcare programs that exist.”
Authored by Anna Chu and Charles Posner, the report examines the rate of uninsured individuals among seven factors—including rates of uninsured women, young people, and minorities—to determine which counties are among the worst in the nation and therefore stand to benefit substantially from the health care law. Many of the counties that stand to benefit the most from the Affordable Care Act are ironically represented by congressional members who, instead of helping those in their districts learn more about the law and how to access its benefits, are actually working against what is best for their constituents.
In addition to the report, CAP Action released a series of fact sheets detailing statistics and information about some of the worst counties in California. Key findings from the fact sheets are outlined below:
- In Los Angeles County 2,248,384 nonelderly residents lack health insurance. That is more than a quarter of residents younger than 65 years old in the county.
- In Monterey County 27.4 percent of those making between 138 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty line—a key group that will qualify for insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act—are uninsured. That rate is among the worst 7 percent of all counties in the nation.
- More than 20 percent of nonelderly women in Tulare County are uninsured, a rate of uninsurance that is among the worst quarter of all counties in the nation.
- Tulare County has a stroke mortality rate for those younger than 75 years old of 15 per 100,000—27 percent more than the national average.
- Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), and Devin Nunes (R-CA), who represent Tulare County, have wasted time playing political games and have tried to repeal health care a combined 79 times, without a plan to replace it.
As the report argues, it is not just the conservatives in Congress who are blocking their constituents from accessing the benefits of the health care law. Governors and state legislators across the country are refusing to expand Medicaid as well. If every governor accepted the federal funds guaranteed under the health care law to expand Medicaid, nearly 17 million Americans would gain coverage. These governors and state legislatures are not only denying care to those who need it the most but are also costing their state tens of millions of dollars.
Read the report: The Counties that Need the Affordable Care Act the Most by Anna Chu and Charles Posner
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