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 Louisiana — 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 Louisiana. Key findings from the fact sheets are outlined below:
- In St. Bernard Parish a quarter of all nonelderly women are uninsured, placing it in only the eighth percentile for insurance coverage in the more than 3,100 counties in the nation.
- In St. Mary Parish 24.2 percent of African Americans are uninsured, which falls in the 15th lowest percentile of insurance coverage of all counties in the nation.
- In Lafourche Parish 36.1 percent of young people ages 18 to 39—almost 10,000 individuals—lack health insurance. This puts the Parish among the worst 20 percent of all counties in the nation.
- St. Mary Parish has a heart disease mortality rate for those younger than 75 years old of 96.9 per 100,000 people—47 percent greater than the national average.
- Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who represent Lafourche County, have wasted time playing political games and have tried to repeal health care a combined 72 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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