How to fix Obamacare for a few million more people
As many as a million more Americans would have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study.
The Kaiser Family Foundation said the findings were based on analysis of new data and were the most detailed look yet at the law’s impact on the health of the nation’s most populous state.
In a report released Monday, the foundation’s executive director, Jonathan Gruber, called the new estimates “extraordinary” and called the law a “game changer” for Americans.
The analysis showed that if the law is fully implemented and fully financed, a total of 9 million people would be covered by the new health insurance marketplaces, which have already opened for business in nearly every state and have already begun operating.
The report also found that the number of uninsured would decline by a third to 6 million.
The new numbers represent a slight decrease from earlier estimates, which showed that 5 million to 6.5 million Americans would be uninsured under the ACA.
The foundation’s Gruber said in a statement that he believed the new numbers were the largest estimate yet of the ACA’s impact.
The health law, he said, “has enabled millions of Americans to get the coverage they need, and now it is time to make the next steps to protect those who have been left out.”
In an interview with The Associated Press, Gruber did not provide an exact number of people who would be insured under the law, but said that the numbers “are the largest number of insured that we have ever produced.”
He said he had not seen the new analysis and could not provide a precise estimate of the number.
The results could be helpful to Democrats, who are pressing to repeal the law and move toward a broader health care overhaul, which is now in the hands of a Senate committee.
The Senate will consider a bill on Tuesday that would repeal the Affordable Health Care Act and replace it with a plan to expand Medicaid coverage to people with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, which Gruber called “a huge improvement.”
The Kaiser report found that there are nearly 5 million people without health insurance now, up from about 2.6 million two years ago.
In addition to California and New York, where the health law was passed, the study also looked at the states of Alaska, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
The researchers did not have a breakdown of the impact of the law on individual states.
The findings are a welcome development for those who fear the health care law could lead to even more people without insurance.
Gruber told AP that he believes the health insurance reforms will allow people to choose between buying coverage through their employers or through private plans that they buy through their doctors.
“There is a lot of good news for people who are worried about being able to keep their coverage if they get sick,” Gruber wrote in an email.
“This new analysis shows that health insurance in the new exchanges will be available for millions of people with preexisting conditions.”
The analysis is a big improvement over earlier estimates that showed millions of more Americans were uninsured, Grubers said.
“The health insurance markets are the largest single market in the world, and I think that’s going to be the case,” Grubers wrote.
Grubers, who is also the health policy director for the left-leaning Center for American Progress, said that while the health reform was a “big deal,” he still sees many people who were not covered before as now insured.
The authors of the Kaiser study did not say how they arrived at their estimates.
Grubber said that they are not sure how much of the new marketplaces would be fully funded.
“It’s not clear how much, or even if the number would be more than we anticipated,” Grubbers said, adding that they expected the number to be between 10 million and 12 million people.
He said that he was “pretty confident” that the total number of Americans with insurance would be around 10 million, based on the information they had gathered.
The law also allows states to charge higher premiums to those who do not have health coverage.
The study said that if all of the costs were covered, about half of the increase in the cost of insurance would go to individuals.
Grubs said the report “is a great step forward” and that the law “is doing a lot for our economy.”
“This is a great start, and it will be important to keep on working on the law to make it even better,” Grubs wrote.
He added that the analysis is “still not 100 percent complete,” but he said he believes it is “far more accurate” than the previous estimates.
The American Health Care Association, a nonprofit health care advocacy group, said it will work to improve the health outcomes for the uninsured and underinsured.
“We hope the new findings will inspire the administration to continue on its path to a comprehensive health care reform that delivers better care to every American, without