More than 2.2 million African-Americans living below the federal poverty line won’t have access to Obamacare’s insurance benefits due to the slew of states that opted out of the law’s Medicaid expansion.
Had all 50 states expanded Medicaid, 95 percent of uninsured African-Americans would be eligible for some form of federal assistance through the Affordable Care Act coverage — either via Medicaid or premium subsidies — according to a Health and Human Services report released Monday. Instead, only 60 percent will benefit.
In total, 25 states chose not to expand Medicaid, creating a “coverage gap” where some residents earn too much to qualify for the program but not enough to qualify for the tax credits. Those credits are granted to individuals and families earning between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
The Affordable Care Act originally required all states to expand Medicaid coverage to Americans earning below 138 percent of the federal poverty line or forfeit their funding for the program altogether, but the Supreme Court deemed that provision unconstitutional. With the decision left to the states, a majority with Republican governors opted out of the expansion, as did three that have Democrats at the helm: Missouri, Montana, and New Hampshire.
Despite only half the states expanding Medicaid, 6.8 million uninsured African-Americans are eligible for Affordable Care Act coverage, with 4.2 million able to receive tax credits or enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
More than half of all eligible uninsured African-Americans live in families whose income falls below the federal poverty line. Two-thirds of the total eligible population, however, resides in states that opted not to expand Medicaid.
Eligible uninsured African-Americans tend to reside in Southern states or metropolitan areas, the HHS report found.
Some 34 percent live in four states — Florida, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina — not expanding Medicaid, with 10 percent in Florida alone. Four in ten live in just 20 metropolitan cities, with the highest concentrations in Atlanta, New York, and Chicago.
For those who do earn enough to qualify for tax credits, the federal assistance can go a long way. In Jacksonville, Fla., a family of four earning $50,000 a year could purchase a mid-grade plan for as little as $282 per month. Without subsidies, that plan would carry a monthly premium of $709.
A “bronze” plan, the lowest cost option, carries a $36 price tag after subsidies.
HHS estimates 41.3 million Americans are uninsured and eligible for Affordable Care Act coverage. African-Americans make up 16 percent of that population. They also have a higher uninsured rate than the general U.S. population at 20 percent, compared with 16 percent overall.
What We're Following See More »
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 49%-44% in a new CNN/ORC poll out Monday afternoon. But it's Gary Johnson's performance, or lack thereof, that's the real story. Johnson, who had cleared 10% in some surveys earlier this fall, as he made a bid to qualify for the debates, is down to 3% support. He must hit 5% nationwide for the Libertarian Party to qualify for some federal matching funds in future elections.
The majority and minority leader of the House are both saying "California's veterans are not to blame for being mistakenly overpaid, after a Los Angeles Times story revealed that officials are trying to claw back millions in bonuses from California National Guardsmen. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy called the efforts to recoup the money 'disgraceful,' and asked for the Department of Defense to waive the repayments soldiers would be forced to make if they inappropriately received re-enlistment bonuses for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she's looking for a "legislative fix" in the lame-duck session.
A new Investor’s Business Daily/TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence poll shows Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each earning 41% support. On the one hand, the poll has been skewing in Trump's favor this year, relative to other polls. But on the other, data guru Nate Silver called the IBD/TIPP poll the most accurate in 2012.
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 12 percentage points among likely voters, 50 to 38 percent, in a new ABC News tracking poll, "her highest support and his lowest to date in ABC News and ABC News/Washington Post polls. Gary Johnson has 5 percent support, Jill Stein 2 percent. Clinton led by only four points in the last ABC/Post poll on Oct. 13.
"According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, the first national post-debate survey, 43 percent of registered voters said the Democratic candidate won, compared with 26 percent who opted for the Republican Party’s standard bearer. Her 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters is unchanged from our previous survey: Clinton still leads Trump 42 percent to 36 percent in the race for the White House, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson taking 9 percent of the vote."