It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since the Affordable Care Act was officially signed. In the time we’ve seen the Avengers catch Thanos’ hands, Thanos catch the Avengers’ hands and Lex Luthor actually became president of the United States. While the last decade has increased access to healthcare coverage, there is still work to be done.
According to U.S News and World Report, a new study has shown that while Obamacare has reduced the racial and ethnic gap in healthcare coverage, it hasn’t completely eradicated it. Researchers at the University of Michigan gathered and examined data of 19-to 64-year-olds from 2008 to 2017. The data showed that before Obamacare went into effect 25 percent of blacks and 40 percent of Latinos didn’t have insurance compared to 15 percent of whites. As the decade went on, that gap began to narrow. In states that had Medicare expansion, the gap between blacks and whites disappeared completely. In 2017, the numbers had shown that of the 27 million Americans without insurance, 14 percent were black, 25 percent were Latino and 8.5 percent were white.
One of the co-authors of the study, Thomas Buchmueller called it “A glass-half-full, glass-half-empty story.” He noted that the half-full aspect is that the gaps are closing and those who needed coverage most are receiving it. Buchmueller went on to add “We still have large disparities, particularly for Hispanic non-citizens. And lack of insurance means lower access to care and poorer health outcomes.”
Essentially, progress is being made but we still have room to go. I find these numbers encouraging and it shows that the program is working. Granted it may not matter if Republicans get their way. I certainly hope we don’t wind up seeing this gap widen yet again due to a butt hurt GOP.