Who Will Be Hit Hardest By the Healthcare Coverage Gap?


With President Obama’s healthcare reform receiving controversial responses and with many Republicans standing in direct opposition to its implementation, studies looking at the coverage gap have highlighted main groups of concerns. The Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan research group, released a  report on the coverage gap as it will effect race and ethnicity in those states not implementing Obamacare.

According to the study, twenty-three states are presently not moving forward with the Medicaid expansion, two are “seeking” to move forward, and twenty-six have implemented the expansion. The report says that for those states not expanding almost 5 million uninsured will fall into the gap who might otherwise have fallen into the Medicaid category.

Unfortunately, uninsurance rates still are disproportionately higher within certain racial and ethnic groups. The Kaiser Family Foundation report found that, “People of color are significantly more likely to be uninsured compared to whites when looking at non-elderly adults.” Whites show a 15 percent uninsurance rate, Blacks a 25 percent uninsurance rate, and Hispanic — excluding undocumented immigrants — show a 33 percent uninsurance rate.

A second study from the group shows that of those in the coverage gap, a majority are not working and/or do not have access to healthcare via their jobs. Most are childless adults, but 24 percent are parents without insurance, and while 49 percent report themselves to be in excellent or very good health, 20 percent say they have fair or poor health. ”As a whole, more people — and more poor uninsured adults — reside in the South than in other regions. Further, the South has higher uninsured rates and more limited Medicaid eligibility than other regions. Southern states have disproportionately opted not to expand their programs,” read the report.

In a new ABC/Washington Post poll, the healthcare reform laws had largely negative responses. Fifty-five percent of those polled said they disapproved of President Obama’s job handling, with 43 percent approving. Worse, 62 percent of those polled said they disapproved of the way the president has been implementing the Affordable Care Act, with 34 percent approving — not exactly a surprising set of results.

Democrats got slightly more positive polling numbers in Congress, with 64 percent disproving of Democrats in Congress and 73 percent disapproving of Republicans in Congress. When asked who pollees trusted more with the implementation of Obamacare, 42 percent preferred Obama, 37 percent preferred Republicans in Congress, and 17 percent went the route of “neither.”

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