Monday, May 25, 2015

Obamacare: Despite you, it's working

States that have embraced Obamacare are seeing real gains.

Obamacare: Despite you, it's working

Gov. Corbett had been noncommittal on providing school funding.
Gov. Corbett had been noncommittal on providing school funding.

"You" being Gov. Corbett, of course. Apparently Pennsylvania is going to have to wait for the next governor to join an American revolution in health coverage:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Arkansas and Kentucky lead all other states in the sharpest reductions in their uninsured rate among adult residents since the healthcare law's requirement to have insurance took effect at the beginning of the year. Delaware, Washington, and Colorado round out the top five. All 10 states that report the largest declines in uninsured rates expanded Medicaid and established a state-based marketplace exchange or state-federal partnership.

Of course, Pennsylvania under Corbett did not do either of those things, so now, for the first time in my adult life, we get to be envious of Delaware. Here's more from Gallup:

As Gallup previously reported, the states that chose to expand Medicaid and set up their own health exchanges had a lower uninsured rate to begin with: 16.1% compared with 18.7% for the remaining states -- a difference of 2.6 percentage points. The already notable gap between the two groups of states widened through the first quarter to 4.3 points, as states that have implemented these core mechanisms of the Affordable Care Act reduced their uninsured rates three times more than states that did not implement these core mechanisms.

In Pennsylvania, that gap amounts to hundreds of thousands of people -- members of our community who aren't getting the medical care they need or who can't sleep at night because of fear over medical bankruptcy. Corbett could have improved their lives with the stroke of a pen, but it was more important to make sure he didn't have a Tea Party primary challenger, I guess.

I'm fascinated to see how the GOP strategy of running against Obamacare this fall will work out for them. Where's the beef? Millions of the uninsured are covered. Premiums did not rise for everyone else. Yeah, the website didn't work...at first. That's like saying the 2004 world champion Boston Red Sox stink because they lost the first three games of that series to the Yankees. We're basically down to people hating on "Obamacare" because they can't stand "Obama"...

Maybe that will be enough.

About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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