Finally, some good news for Obamacare

September 17, 2016, The Washington Post, Editorial Board- It has been a summer of bad news for the Affordable Care Act, but last week brought some numbers that should put worries about the law into perspective. The Census Bureau announced Tuesday that the proportion of people in the United States who lack health-care coverage continued to plunge last year - to only 9.1 percent. This figure is even better than it looks for Obamacare, because it factors in uninsured undocumented immigrants, of which there are perhaps several million, who are not eligible for the law’s programs.

State’s uninsured rate drops for second year in row

September 15, 2016, The Daily Journal, Larrison Campbell- The rate of uninsured Mississippians dropped for the second year in a row as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to data released by the United States Census Bureau this week. The uninsured rate fell from 14.5 percent in 2014 to 12.7 percent last year. This follows a drop of 2.6 percent between 2013 and 2014, the first year the Affordable Care Act was implemented. Despite these declines, Mississippi still ranks sixth for uninsured residents, behind only Texas, Alaska, Oklahoma, Georgia and Florida. Like these states, Mississippi declined the Medicaid expansion.

Casino industry joins push for more zika funding

September 14, 2016, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Evalina Burnett- Casinos and other tourism businesses are calling on Congress to pass legislation that would pump additional funding into efforts to combat the Zika virus. The American Gaming Association joined with the U.S. Travel Association and more than 100 other organizations and businesses in a letter urging lawmakers to make funding Zika efforts a priority. It says failing to act quickly will jeopordize both health and the health of the US economy. Whitaker Askew is vice president of government relations for the American Gaming Association.

By One Measure, Health Care Law Is a Record Success

September 15, 2016, The New York Times, Reed Abelson and Margot Sanger-Katz- Included among the many uplifting economic numbers released by the Census Bureau on Tuesday was a remarkable one about health insurance in the United States: Only 9.1 percent of Americans do not have coverage, the lowest level ever recorded by the agency. That figure is down from 13.3 percent in 2013, before the major provisions of the health care law signed by President Obama went into effect. Another government study, released last week, looked at the first part of 2016 and found that the uninsured rate had fallen even further, to 8.6 percent.

Action on the ACA next year? Maybe.

September 14, 2016, Brookings, Stuart M Butler- What are the prospects for action on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during the next Congress and presidential administration? There is no easy answer to that question in this unusual election year, although one’s first reaction might be “not much.” As Larry Leavitt, MPP,  noted in theJAMA Forum recently, the presidential platforms suggest fundamentally different, maybe even irreconcilable, approaches. At the risk of being proven wrong, it also seems reasonable to assume that there will continue to be a political standoff in practice next year, with neither party able to push through its preferred solutions for health care. And the Republican “Repeal Obamacare” mantra seems to leave little space for compromise.

The striking difference between states that expanded Medicaid and the ones that didn’t

September 13, 2016, The Washington Post, Carolyn Y. Johnson- The number of Americans without health insurance declined to 9.1 percent last year, according to federal data released Tuesday. A set of maps released by the Census Bureau suggests an obvious way to decrease the uninsured rate even more: expand Medicaid in the 19 states that haven’t. The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, originally called for an expansion of Medicaid eligibility to people who make up to 138 percent of the poverty level.