The government has shut down over a political stand-off! Democrats and Republicans are at war over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Before I share a couple of the nuts and bolts, I must say that I am sad that I live in a country where healthcare is viewed primarily as a profit-driven business without consideration for how expensive it is and what that means for people who can’t afford care. Rather than consider how certain aspects of healthcare should be accessible to everyone, we’d rather spend time discussing whose is deserving and un-deserving. What’s more is that those discussions often seem to parallel racial and class politics.
In 2011 (the most recent numbers available), nearly 16%, an estimated 48.61 million people, of the US population was uninsured. Young adults (19-34) are the age group most likely to be uninsured. In 2011, three in ten Hispanics (30.1%) were uninsured. Blacks were more likely to be uninsured than non-Hispanic whites, with 19.5% lacking insurance, and 16.8% of Asians were uninsured. Uninsured rates for whites were 11.1% in 2011. Meanwhile, despite these numbers, the rates of insurance coverage for adults 19-25 has increased significantly under the Affordable Care Act, which allows young adults to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26.
Further, in 2011, one in seven full-time workers, 15.3%, was uninsured. Uninsured rates were higher among part-time workers and the unemployed. Further, uninsured rates were highest for low-income families (25.4% among those with less than $25,000 a year in household income), though many middle-income families were also uninsured: 21.5% among those earning $25,000 to $49,999, and 15.4% among those earning $50,000 to $74,999. While the majority of the uninsured were low-income, 37.4% of the uninsured had a household income above $50,000.
Next up, what do these folks get?!?!