U.S. Medicaid enrollment nears 7 million since Obamacare rollout

WASHINGTON Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:54pm EDT

The federal government forms for applying for health coverage are seen at a rally held by supporters of the Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as ''Obamacare'', outside the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center in Jackson, Mississippi October 4, 2013 file photo.REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

The federal government forms for applying for health coverage are seen at a rally held by supporters of the Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as ''Obamacare'', outside the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center in Jackson, Mississippi October 4, 2013 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Bachman

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New enrollments in Obamacare's Medicaid expansion and other healthcare programs for the poor have reached 6.7 million people since the launch of President Barack Obama's healthcare reforms last year, the administration said on Friday.

The figures, which include state Medicaid plans that existed before Obamacare and the Children's Health Insurance Program, show enrollment climbing by 920,000 people during May, the latest month for which data is available. All told, new enrollments are up 11.4 percent since last October's Obamacare rollout.

Eight million Americans have also signed up for private health insurance through new state-based Obamacare insurance marketplaces. But while private enrollment ended last spring, Medicaid enrollment continues year round.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) did not break out the number of people enrolled in states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which makes benefits available to most low-income people with annual earnings of up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

But CMS said enrollment in Medicaid programs have risen 17 percent in 25 states and the District of Columbia, which have expanded Medicaid. New enrollments were only 3 percent higher in states that have not.

In 38 states that reported relevant data, more than half of all Medicaid and CHIP enrollees were children, according to CMS.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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Comments (10)
REnninga wrote:
The healthier our American society becomes (due to universal access to healthcare insurance, universal preventative care coverage and expanded Medicaid coverage for those of lower financial means), the lower the demand will be on expensive uninsured emergency room treatment, and costly uninsured care after people are already in health crises. Those have had severe economic impacts on our society over the past few decades.

This is all about making America a healthier nation, and reducing the prospect that individuals and families will be wiped-out financially, bankrupted, … simply because they get sick.

The year-over-year statistical data from the affordable Care Act will before long persuade all Americans that it was the right thing to do, warts and all.

The mantra now should not be “Repeal it.” The mantra should now be “Embrace it, but improve it.”

Jul 11, 2014 5:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bachcole wrote:
What you will NOT see is an improvement in longevity rates, infant mortality rates, total over-all health costs, etc. This is because 99% of what doctors do is not about building health; it is about removing symptoms. And most of the time this symptom removal is hard on the patient’s overall health, such as with chemotherapy. Obamacare is all about shifting the money burden around. Nothing else.

Jul 11, 2014 5:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
REnninga wrote:
“…What you will NOT see is an improvement in longevity rates, infant mortality rates”

RESPONSE:
Can you please further explain your contention that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or ACA) will not yield an improvement “in longevity rates” or improvement in “infant mortality rates” …

Examples related to infant mortality/. The ACA provides for:
*High-risk human papillomavirus DNA testing in women with normal cytology results.
*Well-woman preventive care visit annually for adult women to obtain the recommended preventive services that are age and developmentally appropriate, including preconception care and many services necessary for prenatal care. This well-woman visit will, where appropriate, include other prenatal health and preventive care services
*Screening for gestational diabetes.
*Counseling on sexually transmitted infections for all sexually active women.
*Comprehensive lactation support and counseling, by a trained provider during pregnancy and/or in the postpartum period, and costs for renting breastfeeding equipment.
*Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence.
*Counseling on sexually transmitted infections for all sexually active women.

Do you mean to suggest that these services noted above will not result in an improvement in infant mortality rates?

The United Sates is currently ranked only 34th of the nations in the world for infant mortality (2010, pre-ACA implementation), with a death rate of 5.4 infants per 1,000 live births (compared to 1st place Singapore with a rate of just 1.92 infant deaths per 1,000 live births).

What seems compelling is that every one of the 33 nations with lower rates of infant mortality than the United States (in 2010, pre-ACA implementation) already had comprehensive/universal healthcare for their populations. Pure coincidence?

I’ll await your reply with interest. Thanks.
Cheers!

Jul 11, 2014 8:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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