Obamacare Boosts Economic Health

The proof comes from the experience of the 12 states that have refused to accept a key component of Obamacare: federal money to cover the cost of expanding Medicaid to cover millions of people who otherwise could not pay for health insurance. The U.S. Supreme Court made Medicaid expansion optional in its 2012 decision upholding other parts of the law.

Standard measures of employment and personal income growth show that even Texas — the largest of the states that still rejects Medicaid expansion — lags behind states that joined after rejecting it. when it became available on January 1, 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The expansion of Medicaid, enabling more than 4 million of the most vulnerable people to work, has proven to be a catalyst for growth. This may explain why 38 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the insurance extension, up from 25 when it first became available on January 1, 2014.

The Affordable Care Act, signed 12 years ago this week by President Barack Obama, was designed to provide everyone with access to private or public health care with corporate income. , federal and state which combined would reduce the national burden and invigorate the economy. It allowed children to remain insured on a parent’s policy until age 26, required equal treatment of people with pre-existing medical conditions, and prohibited annual or lifetime coverage limits.

In 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic ended the longest streak of American growth in modern times, the job market in states initially refusing and then implementing Medicaid expansion outpaced states that did. are opposed, according to data on work participation compiled by Bloomberg. Labor force participation measures the proportion of people in the working-age population who are employed or looking for work. Excluding recent transplants during the pandemic, the trend continues unabated as the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on mothers without childcare, especially low-wage women, whose recent employment has lagged significantly behind relation to men.

From April 2020, when the United States began to recover from the worst employment slump since the Great Depression, until January 31 of this year, the number of jobs in the United States increased by 14, 3%. That’s 1.4 percentage points higher than the average of 12 states denying Medicaid expansion and 0.6 percentage points lower than the average of accepting states, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Texas, which has the highest proportion of people without health insurance in the nation at 18.4%, according to the US Census Bureau, has underperformed the national average with job growth of 13.6% since April 2020. That’s 1.3 percentage points lower than states enacting the expansion and 5 percentage points lower than Massachusetts. Bay State, which agreed to the extension in 2014 and is No. %, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Even when states as populous as California and New York are excluded from employment calculations, states expanding Medicaid saw employment rise 14.8%, well above Texas and the national average. Of the 12 holdout states, only one-third outperformed the national job market, while 53% of the 38 states (plus Washington, DC) adopting Medicaid created more jobs than the national average.

Unemployment shows a similar trend, with the Recalcitrant 12 seeing their unemployment rates fall by an average of 8.9 percentage points since April 2020, nearly a full percentage point less than the drop in other states. The underperformance is no different when California and New York are omitted from the equation, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The 9.93% increase in US personal income since April 2020 is 0.33 percentage points more than the gain for states refusing Medicaid expansion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Better health care seems to mean greater wealth for everyone.

More other writers at Bloomberg Opinion:

• States have no good reason to refuse to expand Medicaid: Bloomberg Editorial Board

• Obamacare advances as Republicans falter: Jonathan Bernstein

• How to Improve the Affordable Care Act: Bloomberg Editorial Board

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board or of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Matthew A. Winkler is co-founder of Bloomberg News (1990) and editor emeritus; Bloomberg Opinion Columnist since 2015; Co-founded the Bloomberg Business Journalism Diversity Program in 2017. In his 25 years as editor, Bloomberg News has been a three-time finalist and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Explaining Reporting and has received numerous George Polk, Gerald Loeb, Overseas Press Club Award and Society of Professional Journalists and Editors (Sabew).

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