2014 Scorecard Deep Dive: Health Care
This January, Prosperity Now released the 2014 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, a comprehensive evaluation of the relative financial security of the American public. This series takes a closer look at some of the outcome trends within each of the Scorecard's five issue areas. Check out the previous posts on Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, and Housing & Homeownership.
Uninsured by Race
Uninsured rates continued their downward trend throughout 2012, as the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act's mandated insurance marketplaces loomed large over the health care industry. Uninsured rates declined in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Among those states that saw their population of uninsured residents rise, rate increases were primarily driven by rising uninsured rates among the state's White residents. That said, nationally, minority residents are still nearly twice as likely to be uninsured than are White residents (24.8% to 12.4%, respectively).
Uninsured Low-Income Children
Nationally, the percentage of uninsured low-income children declined once again in 2012, demonstrating the effectiveness of the nation's economic safety net. Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia saw uninsured rates improve among their most vulnerable population, while in 17 states—mostly in the West—more than one in 10 low-income children remain without health insurance.
Uninsured Rate by Income
Though uninsured rates declined nationally, the disparity in uninsured rates between the richest and poorest Americans widened in 2012. Americans in the lowest income quintile—living in households making less than $20,710 annually—are over four times more likely to be uninsured than those in the top income quintile (over $103,546 annually). The disparity is greatest in Nebraska, where the poorest fifth are uninsured at a rate 10 times higher than the richest.
States can help protect their uninsured low-income residents by accepting the Affordable Care Act's proposed Medicaid expansion, a simple step that only 25 states and the District of Columbia have taken. For more data, including a breakdown of additional policies your state can implement to help insure its residents and reign in health care costs, visit the Scorecard website, or download the full 2014 Scorecard report, "Treading Water in the Deep End," here.