Rate of Uninsured Latino Children Declining Under Obamacare: Study
A new study finds the first full year of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), often referred to as "Obamacare," resulted in an all-time low rate of Hispanic children living without health insurance.
The study, by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and the National Council of La Raza, found that the number of uninsured Hispanic youths dropped from 2 million in 2013 to 1.7 million a year later, the first year most of the provisions offered by the ACA went into full effect.
The overall rate of uninsured Hispanic kids dipped to an historic low of 9.7 percent, nearly 2 full points lower than the 11.5 percent that was registered just a year earlier.
Deeper analysis finds some states are making far more progress than others, with the most gains coming in regions where legislators have actively taken steps to cover more children and adults through Medicaid expansion.
In all, 11 states saw both the number and percentage of uninsured Hispanic children significantly drop over the year being analyzed. Among those states, many have taken additional steps to expand coverage for both Hispanic children and their parents, including raising the income eligibility levels for health insurance programs like Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.
For example, in Nevada, over that time, the uninsured rate for Hispanic children dropped nearly 7 full points, from 20 percent to 13.3 percent, giving the state the distinction of achieving the largest decline in the country.
On the other hand, Kaiser Family Foundation reports states like Texas, Florida and Georgia did not move to expand Medicaid programs, and recent numbers seem to bear out the consequences. Both Georgia and Texas had uninsured rates four times higher than that of New York.
With Hispanic children being the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, pegged to compromise nearly one-third of the domestic workforce by 2050, NCLR Health Policy Project manager Steven Lopez insisted providing adequate health care coverage for them is a winning proposition for the U.S.
"Given these demographic projections, the future well-being and success of our nation is linked to that of the Latino community," he said.
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