Texas Still Has The Highest Uninsured Population, Census Data Says

New information from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the average uninsured rate in states with Medicaid expansion is 6.5 percent while the rate in states without expansion is 11.7 percent
Affordable Care Act expands health coverage to more patients, although differences remain

13 September, 2017

"Between 2015 and 2016, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage at the time of interview decreased in 39 states", the Census report said.

In 2013 - the year before the state opened Medicaid to more low-income people under the Affordable Care Act - Kentucky's uninsured rate was 14.3 percent, according to the Census data.

Anne Dunkelberg, associate director of the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities, said in a press release that she was pleased to see more insured Texans under the Affordable Care Act, but that "all Texans will see health benefits and cost savings if Texas follows the lead of the majority of states - including very conservative states - by expanding coverage for these families using federal Medicaid dollars".

Texas experienced year-over-year declines in uninsured, despite the state's refusal to expand Medicaid.

Kentucky's 9.2 percentage-point drop in the uninsured rate since 2013 was the fourth-biggest decline among 50 states and the District of Columbia, behind only California (9.8 percentage points), New Mexico (9.5 percentage points) and Nevada (9.3 percentage points). Texas has not expanded its Medicaid program.

It's a troubling statistic, especially when compared to MA, which had the nation's lowest rate of uninsured nationally: About 2.5 percent, or one out of every 40 people there, were uninsured a year ago.

Researchers also observed that in expansion states, non-Hispanic white patients had twice the magnitude of decrease in uninsured visits compared with Hispanic patients (difference-in-difference = 2.03; 95% CI, 1.53-2.7).

The number of uninsured Americans dropped 8.8 percent nationwide during the past year of the Obama administration, and that could further complicate continued Republican efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Almost 430,000 low-income Kentuckians gained coverage through the state's opening of Medicaid to cover those with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty level, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Researchers analyzed electronic health records of 870,319 community health center patients, with more than 4 million ambulatory visits, from 16 states, 10 of which had expanded Medicaid eligibility.

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