Monday, December 5, 2016

Who Are the Remaining Uninsured?

A few days ago, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) tweeted this:

How can advocates tout Obamacare [as] a success, when among many other flaws, it leaves 30 million people uninsured?
And the cool thing is that there was an immediate, thorough response on Twitter from someone named Charles Gaba, a web developer who set himself the task of tracking health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (at Here's what he said in slightly de-Twittered form:
Well, let's see.
  1. The correct figure is more like 27-28 million at the moment, depending on your source, not 30 you're overstating it by 10% right away:

  2. Of that, about 2.6 million (9%) were SUPPOSED to be covered by Medicaid, but 19 states refused to expand it. Oh yeah, that includes your state, where 684K are screwed due to the Texas legislature being dicks.
  3. Meanwhile, 5.4 million (20%) are undocumented immigrants. If you'd like to change the ACA to allow them coverage, awesome! But somehow I doubt your fellow GOP colleagues would care for that too much.
  4. OK, that leaves 3.8 million eligible for traditional Medicaid and 2.6 million eligible for CHIP. Glad to hear you're onboard for a huge outreach/education effort! But since your incoming HHS secretary opposed CHIP, he might have a problem with helping get millions of poor kids enrolled in it.
  5. That leaves 12.8 million uninsured. 5.3 million are eligible for financial assistance, but most don't know it. Of course, that'd be less of a problem if GOP insurance commissioners weren't doing "everything in their power to be obstructionists":

  6. Meanwhile, another 4.5 million aren't eligible for tax credits because their employer offers them coverage. I agree that ACA should either allow these folks assistance as well or at least be more stringent on the Employer-Sponsored Insurance coverage required.
  7. Finally, there's about 3 million who earn too much to qualify for tax credits. If you'd like to beef up the credits and raise the eligibility threshold, that's an awesome idea. In fact, that was one of Hillary Clinton's ideas. Sounds good to me.
It's such a pleasure to hear from someone who actually knows what he's talking about for a change.

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