Poor and (Still) Uninsured

As reported in a recent New York Times article, the healthcare reform popularly known as Obamacare that was designed to extend healthcare coverage to the uninsured will leave out  two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance.  They live in the 26 states (many of them Southern and largely controlled by Republicans) that have opted not to expand Medicaid, the medical insurance program for the poor.

Using Census data, the New York Times calculated that eight million impoverished and uninsured people will find themselves ineligible for help, "stuck between people with slightly higher incomes who will qualify for federal subsidies on the new health exchanges that went live this week, and those who are poor enough to qualify for Medicaid in its current form, which has income ceilings as low as $11 a day in some states."  The expanded Medicaid program was intended to cover the poorest, who cannot afford insurance even with the federal subsidies.

According to the New York Times' analysis (which excludes immigrants in the country illegally and those foreign-born residents who would not be eligible for benefits under Medicaid expansion), 60 percent of the country’s uninsured working poor, and 68 percent of poor, uninsured blacks and single mothers live in the 26 states that rejected the Medicaid expansion.

Read more:

Social Class and Health: A Data-Driven Learning Guide (http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/instructors/biblio/resources/111111)
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press: Question Search (http://www.people-press.org/question-search/)
Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index Interactive (http://www.well-beingindex.com/)

Frederique Laubepin

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