Tags: Healthcare Reform | black | coverage | obamacare

Urban Institute: Blacks Losing Health Coverage Under Obamacare

By    |   Tuesday, 16 December 2014 07:10 PM

Healthcare coverage for blacks is shrinking under Obamacare, a new report finds.

According to research group the Urban Institute , Latinos, American Indians and Alaska natives have all seen "dramatic" increases in healthcare coverage over the last year.

But blacks haven't fared as well; the report noted more than half of all black individuals and families live in the 21 states that haven't expanded Medicaid eligibility.

As a result, about 1.4 million black individuals are caught in an "eligibility gap," the reports finds — making too little to buy coverage and too much to qualify for Medicaid.

According to The Hill, out of 10 states with the biggest Latino populations, three states — Texas, Florida and Georgia — have not expanded Medicaid. But in the 10 states with the largest black populations, only Maryland and Delaware have expanded Medicaid.

Obamacare initially required every state to expand Medicaid but the Supreme Court ruled that states can't be forced to do so; GOP-controlled states have largely opted out, The Hill notes.

"Even with current Medicaid expansion decisions, the [Affordable Care Act] is projected to shrink many of the long-standing racial/ethnic differences in health insurance coverage," the report states.

According to the study, the coverage gap between whites and Latinos will narrow by roughly five percentage points by 2016, between whites and blacks by a point and a half, between whites and Asian/Pacific Islanders by two points and between whites and American/Alaskan natives by roughly two-and-a-half points, Market Watch notes.

"Everybody benefits, but some more than others," Lisa Clemans-Cope, a health economist at the institute and one of the study’s authors, told Market Watch.

The study finds in the number of states that have expanded Medicaid — 27, plus the District of Columbia — the percentage of whites left uninsured when Obamacare is fully implemented in two years will drop from 13.1 percent to 6.3 percent. For Latinos, the number will drop from 31.2 percent to 19 percent; blacks, 19.6 percent to 11.3 percent; Asian/Pacific Islanders, 17.3 percent to 8.9 percent, and ; American/Alaskan natives, 25.7 percent down to 13 percent.

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Healthcare coverage for blacks is shrinking under Obamacare, a new report finds.
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Tuesday, 16 December 2014 07:10 PM
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