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74% of Obamacare’s Biggest Haters Now Say They Actually Love It

74% of Obamacare’s Biggest Haters Now Say They Actually Love It

“Republicans love it. Three-quarters of self-identified conservatives who purchased a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act say they are more than pleased with their new care.

In short, Obamacare is working — even for those who railed against it.

How it’s working: Among young adults (the new law’s most important benefactors), the rate of uninsured people declined by 28%, according to a new Commonwealth Fund study. Of all of those who signed up for Obamacare (either using Medicaid or private insurance) 58% said they were better off than they were before they got their new coverage. Those with Medicaid showed their new plans the most love — 67% said they were doing better with Obamacare.

Image Credit: Commonwealth Fund

Luckily for Republicans, the new health care plans are party-blind: Less than a year after launching an all-out war against Obamacare, Republicans have turned out to be some of its biggest benefactors — at least the ones who don’t live in states where conservative leaders have blocked the law. Along a strip of the Midwest and throughout most of the South where the law is not in effect, more than a third of the lowest-income residents remain uninsured. That number has remained virtually unchanged from last year, even as millions of people in surrounding states gained coverage (many of whom for the first time). Meanwhile, in states that did participate in the expansion, the cost of Medicare has plummeted, saving the U.S. government a cool $50 billion.

Image Credit: Kaiser Family Health Foundation

Despite a rocky roll-out, 8 million Americans signed up for Obamacare since it became available in January, decreasing the number of adults without insurance from 20% to 15%.

Image Credit: Commonwealth Fund

Most adults with new coverage have used it to go to the doctor. Overall, about 80% have said they are satisfied with their purchase.

“This is yet another datapoint showing that the Affordable Care Act is basically doing what it’s supposed to do,” The Kaiser Foundation’s Larry Levitt told the New York Times.”

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As Medicaid expands, hospitals see declines in charity care, self pay

“…’These findings not only affirm that more people are finding healthcare coverage who didn’t have it before, but also that it is having a positive impact by reducing the levels of uncompensated care at hospitals, which could further efforts to reduce healthcare costs,’ said the association’s president and CEO Steven Summer…”

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June 5, 2014 · 5:52 pm

There’s been a lot of talk about minimum wage lately and I was encouraged to share my own story, so here it is (feel free to share it) 🙂

I lived on the federal minimum wage (and below) from Aug 2012 to July 2013 and being a single, childless, college-educated, white female I could not pay my own bills. I was on food stamps and still had to pay for my own health insurance since I didn’t qualify for Medicare at that time since I didn’t have children. My rent was $600/mo, my phone $90/mo, my health insurance $80/mo, utilities $30/mo, and I still had to pay for transportation, clothing, household items, etc. I didn’t make enough to cover it all and had to rely on my parents for help, which I hated.

“It is a common misconception that the minimum wage workforce is comprised mostly of teenagers working part-time to make a little extra spending money. This is decidedly not the case; rather, the vast majority – 84.1 percent – of those benefitting from the proposed increase to $9.00 are at least 20 years old. This means that less than 16 percent of the workers impacted by the President’s proposal are teenagers. Additionally, about half (47.3 percent) of the 18 million affected workers are full-time employees, working at least 35 hours per week. Another 35.8 percent work between 20 and 34 hours per week, and only 16.9 percent work less than 20 hours a week. It is clear that the bulk of minimum wage workers are mid- or full-time adult employees, not teenagers or part-timers. (However, the fact that some of these workers are teens and part-timers who are working only to make some additional disposable income is not justification for paying them subpoverty wages.)” http://www.epi.org/blog/affected-president-obamas-proposed-minimum/#sthash.5C9zP3V3.dpuf

I agree that minimum wage jobs were not meant to be careers, but rather stepping stones. However, the reality of the fact is that the majority of those making minimum wage are over 20 years old and want to work full time. The people working these jobs are stuck in these jobs, with virtually no opportunities for upward mobility. They often do not have the time or money for further training or skill building. I’ve said elsewhere that:

[Further] schooling is often expensive and does not necessarily lead to a “better job.”

For example, there was a recent article on how vocational programs leading to certificates, like CRNs, do not necessarily improve your job options. There is little data on how these credentials enhance income with the median earnings of all certificate holders just under $25,000 (which is barely over the poverty threshold for a family of four). Although RN programs do a decent job of preparing students, “medical assistants don’t make enough money to pay off their loans.”

The proliferation of paralegal certificate programs is also a concern. There is not a lot of growth in the profession right now, so we don’t know who’s going to employ all those people who are getting these certificates. According to the Department of Education, the number of people awarded certificates in the paralegal field grew to 4,061 in 2007-8 from 2,890 in 2003-4. This is unfortunately also the case for JD law degrees at the moment. I personally almost went to law school after undergrad until I realized that getting a JD (and even being at the top of your class or at a “prestigious” school) did not guarantee a job.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/education/edlife/09certificate-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1

And in terms of having children and not being able to support them, there are many reasons why this might happen. Maybe they were more financially stable when they decided to reproduce (think of families who are affected by natural disasters every year and lose everything). Maybe they don’t have access to sex education or birth control (researchers have found that teens who received comprehensive sex education were 60 percent less likely to get pregnant or to get someone pregnant than those who received no sex education). Maybe one parent died and had failed to set up a life insurance account. Maybe the children are a result of sexual assault. There are many reasons why people have kids to later realize they can’t support them.

Please think about the minimum wage debate as not centered around you and your life, that is a very selfish way to look at things. You can use personal anecdotes or personal observations to back up your opinions, but you also must consider the issue as a whole and how it affects the millions of Americans that currently make minimum wage.

I currently make $12/hr at a full time temp office job in Seattle, where the living wage is around $15 (give or take). And I can tell you that I currently have $78 to my name and no savings. And it’s not because I buy and shop and eat out a lot. It’s because I’m paying for things like insurance, tires and repairs for my car, and fixing my computer (which has been broken since 2012 but I haven’t been able to afford repairs until now).

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May 16, 2014 · 6:22 pm