Obamacare Allowed Oregon to Cut Its Uninsured Population By 10 Percent Already

Photo courtesy of www.health.com

Photo courtesy of health.com


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!!”

10 thoughts on “Obamacare Allowed Oregon to Cut Its Uninsured Population By 10 Percent Already

    • Doesn’t the Heritage Foundation back Republicans? Why would they have created ACA when ACA is considererd the hallmark of the Obama admin? Why would they want everyone to have health care (regardless of how it’s obtained)?

      Also, I read some of the article you gave a link to. I still don’t get what “single payer” means. I thought Medicaid and Medicare are free.

      • Tanya, Single payer, universal healthcare refers to the gold standard in a modern society similar to the model for Medicare, Social Security and public education. These programs are taxpayer funded. Medicaid is taxpayer funded also but eligibility is based on income. Everybody pays and everybody plays. What we have settled for is a tiered system which the capitalists always favor where there will be silver, gold and platinum plans. The more you pay the more you play.

        In America, we are confusing coverage with access. While the states and feds will subsidize some of the costs for lower income individuals and families, the access to care will not be in parity with someone with paying for platinum coverage. In the elite world, access is everything…to private schools, world class medical care and healthy, organic foods. For the first time, there will be a penalty for lack of coverage, a literal tax for being poor.

        In the beginning of his first term, Obama had the Democratic majority and public support to push for single payer healthcare. Instead, he gave away the store to the lobbyists for the private healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. These are the true benefactors of the ACA as much as No Child Left Behind/Race to the Top has proven to be a cash cow for the charter school, textbook publishers and testing companies.

      • Thanks for letting me share my opinions. I acknowledge that I may be wrong on my points but figured you wanted my honest answer.

        • I always appreciate your input, even when we disagree!
          About Obamacare- I still think Obamacare is better than the system we had before, but I totally agree with you that the best system would be one like Medicaid (single- payer, universal coverage). Maybe that’s the next step from here- maybe once people get a taste of what it’s like for everyone to have healthcare, the idea of a single-payer system will be more appealing. I think right now, people are still terrified of universal healthcare. That seems to be the knee-jerk reaction for conservatives.

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