The Affordable care Act is in full swing and despite some hiccups along the way, millions of Americans are gaining access to health insurance, many for the very first time.
As the ACA deadline came to a close, the White House was able to brush off sweat from their brow and announced that their target goal of 7 million sign ups was reached, 7.1 million to be exact. Even with hard opposition from Republicans and liberals calling for a single payer system, President Obama was able to get his signature health care law into action and the positives are starting to show.
According to a new report from the RAND Corporation, a net gain of 9.3 million Americans gained access to health care, dropping the uninsured number from 20.5 percent to 15.8 percent. The study does point out that 5.2 million people did lose coverage, but nearly three times as many people, 14.5 million gained coverage, many who re-gained access of coverage through the market place. The study also notes that nearly 6 million people gained access to health care through Medicaid and the Medicaid expansion.
"The 9.3 million person increase in insurance is driven not only by enrollment in marketplace plans, but also by gains in employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) and Medicaid. Medicaid enrollment increased by 5.9 million. New enrollees are primarily drawn from those who were uninsured in 2013, or those who had 'other' forms of insurance, including Medicare, retiree health insurance, and other government plans."
In regards to the often used Republican talking point of Americans losing their health care coverage, the RAND Corporation study shows that 80 percent of enrollees saw no change at all in their previous health care.
"For most people the ACA has not changed their health insurance coverage. Among adults, 80 percent still had the same form of coverage in March 2014 as in September 2013. Notably, more than 100 million had ESI before and have ESI now, while 26 million remain uninsured."
While "Obamacare" is far from perfect and there will be many kinks that need to be worked out, it is proving to work when it comes to its main focus - getting affordable health care to many who are in need.