The newest data, just a year after the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, should make even the staunchest capitalists feel warm and fuzzy toward the controversial piece of legislation. The data shows that people are paying their bills.
Healthcare bills have long been the number one source of bankruptcy in the U.S. That fact is bad for everyone. Medical providers get pennies on the dollar. Taxpayers get stuck with higher medical bills and with the cost of the bankruptcies.
While it’s too soon to reverse the bankruptcy trend, since courts typically see bills that are much older than just one year, the research from the Commonwealth Fund indicates that tides are turning.
The facts that they found are that as more people have insurance, more people are going to the doctor and more people are paying their bills.
New results from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2014, indicate that the Affordable Care Act’s subsidized insurance options and consumer protections reduced the number of uninsured working-age adults from an estimated 37 million people, or 20 percent of the population, in 2010 to 29 million, or 16 percent, by the second half of 2014. Conducted from July to December 2014, for the first time since it began in 2001, the survey finds declines in the number of people who report cost-related access problems and medical-related financial difficulties. The number of adults who did not get needed health care because of cost declined from 80 million people, or 43 percent, in 2012 to 66 million, or 36 percent, in 2014. The number of adults who reported problems paying their medical bills declined from an estimated 75 million people in 2012 to 64 million people in 2014.
Source: Commonwealth Fund
In a press release from the same organization, they called the results “remarkable.”
While the results of Obamacare are rosy from pretty much every angle, Republicans are still working hard to take insurance away from Americans and in turn, lessen their ability to pay their bills.
The Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in King v. Burwell, which aims to call the federal subsidies to states illegal. If the suit is successful, it will raise insurance premiums by as much as $400. If that were to happen, look for more medical bankruptcies in the future as people opt out of getting health insurance altogether.
Featured image via SCE.com.