affordable care act

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As the Republicans push forward their abysmal Affordable Care Act replacement, much of the talk surrounding its impact focuses on insurance numbers and premium hikes. Those things are certainly important. But this is more important: The Republican plan will cause unnecessary suffering and preventable death.

We’re just a humble little public health blog. But we can still do our part. If you or someone you know need help getting health insurance coverage before next week’s enrollment deadline on Jan. 31, here are some good resources.

Occupational Health News Roundup

If the ACA is repealed, miners could lose out on critical compensation for workplace illness; New York farm owner indicted in death of teen worker; possible contender for U.S. labor secretary opposes minimum wage hike; and in good news, Ikea expands paid parental leave for its U.S. workers.

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.