affordable care act

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The percentage of Americans who reported cost-related barriers to health care dropped from 37 percent in 2013 to 33 percent in 2016 — a change that directly corresponds to insurance expansions under the Affordable Care Act, a new study reports. On the flip side, Americans are still more likely than peers in other high-income nations to face financial obstacles to health care.

Thousands of public health practitioners are now at the APHA Annual Meeting in Denver, taking in new research on every public health topic imaginable.

While health policy hasn’t been at the forefront of this year’s presidential election, the next person to sit in the White House could have a transformative effect on health care access, affordability and inequity. Of course, with so many variables in play, it’s hard to predict what either candidate could realistically accomplish on the health care front. However, a new report might provide some insightful clues.

If you look at the numbers, there’s no doubt that the Affordable Care Act is making a positive difference. In fact, just last month, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the nation’s uninsured rate had hit a record low. At the same time, the health reform law wasn’t intended as a silver bullet and a number of problems remain. One of those problems is known as “churning.”

Everything’s bigger in Texas — including the number of Texans without health insurance. But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the percentage of uninsured Texas residents has dropped by 30 percent. That means the Texas uninsured rate has hit its lowest point in nearly two decades.

Just in time for Mother’s Day comes more good news from the Affordable Care Act: the rate of uninsured moms caring for kids younger than 19 has dropped to its lowest rate in nearly 20 years.

Here’s what states get when they expand Medicaid: more savings, more revenue, more jobs, more access to care for their communities.

Public health insurance programs often get a bad rap, despite a growing positive evidence base on their patient care, quality and outcomes. Earlier this month, another study emerged that found Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program not only outperform private insurance when it comes to children’s preventive care, they can serve as a model of comprehensive children’s coverage.

When it comes to immunization rates in the United States, the story is a mixed one. Among children, we’ve absolutely excelled. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the nation’s childhood vaccination rate as one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. But when it comes to American adults — 50,000 of whom die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases — it’s a very different story.

More good news from the Affordable Care Act: Since it became the law of the land, uninsurance disparities between white, black and Hispanic residents have narrowed significantly.