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 North Carolina — 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 North Carolina. Key findings from the fact sheets are outlined below:
- Of the 117,199 people in Robeson County younger than 65 years old, 26.6 percent are uninsured. This puts it in the worst eighth percent among more than 3,100 counties in the nation.
- In Jackson County 44.6 percent of Hispanics are uninsured. This places Jackson County in the worst 17 percent among all counties in the nation.
- In Duplin County 49.1 percent of young people ages 18 to 39—and 54.4 percent of men in that age group—lack health insurance, placing it in the worst one percent among all counties in the nation and making it the 40th worst county out of more than 3,100 counties in the country.
- Jackson County has a rate of diabetes prevalence that is more than 45 percent higher than the national average, at 12.1 percent of the population.
- Reps. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Mike McIntyre (D-NC), who represent Robeson County, have wasted time playing political games and have tried to repeal health care a combined 33 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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