ThinkProgress.org has recently published an article about the success of Obamacare (aka Affordable Care Act) in Oregon, and it’s very encouraging:
Over the past two weeks, Oregon has signed up so many low-income residents for health coverage that the state has cut its uninsured population by 10 percent, according to state health officials. The majority of those people are newly eligible for public insurance plans thanks to Obamacare’s expansion of the Medicaid program.
The Oregon Health Plan — which is what the state calls its Medicaid-funded program for poor residents — has enrolled 56,000 new people this month.
October 1 marked the first day of enrollment for Obamacare’s state-level insurance exchanges, one of the central tenets of the health reform law.
This is great news for anyone that has previously been uninsured- the program is working so far! It’s terrible news, however, for Republicans and the Tea Party because they wanted so badly for it not to work.
It’s also embarrassing news for states that chose not to fully comply with the components of Obamacare that would allow it to work at its full capacity. Although Obamacare is mandatory for all states, the piece of the legislation that was optional was the expanding of Medicaid. The expansion was meant to allow people who were once ineligible for Medicaid (because their incomes were too high) to become eligible.
This is an extremely important piece because the income levels necessary to get Medicaid is ridiculously low in some states. ThinkProgress.org explains in another article that in five states — Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, and Texas — a family of three with an annual income over $5,000 makes too much money to receive any Medicaid assistance. Because some states chose not to expand Medicaid, a step the federal government offered to fund, there are still millions of people without health insurance because they aren’t covered under Obamacare, or anything else:
Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion is optional, and 22 states have refused to participate in it. Most of the resistance is rooted in partisan opposition to the health reform law, and will end up hurting many of the poorest Americans. An estimated five million low-income people won’t be eligible for any type of federal assistance to get coverage under Obamacare because they live in states that won’t expand Medicaid.
I’m waiting for people in those states to stand up and say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!”