STUMP » Articles » Obamacare Watch: Is Obamacare Racist? » 14 July 2014, 20:37

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Obamacare Watch: Is Obamacare Racist?  


14 July 2014, 20:37

Let’s check!

Well, the Commonwealth Fund, which is a fairly pro-Obamacare group, has done an adult tracking survey re: Obamacare. And it’s all coming up roses!

A new Commonwealth Fund survey finds that in the wake of the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period, significantly fewer working-age adults are uninsured than just before the sign-up period began, and many have used their new coverage to obtain needed care.

Party time! Except….


So, the largest drop was for those of the lowest income, a huge drop for Latinos in lack of coverage, but for African-Americans the rate barely budged. It really is within the statistical range of error, as this survey is done with sampling. I bet if they put the error bars in, this would look really hideous for African-Americans.

I am going to let you make a guess as to why the uninsured rate for Latinos dropped so drastically and that didn’t happen for African-Americans.

Here’s one hint:

Here’s a different hint:

Based on some of what I know, the African-American population is not evenly distributed geographically. Take a look at this wikipedia page and sort it by absolute number of African-Americans.

Start marking whether each state expanded Medicaid or not. New York, at number one, did expand Medicaid, but the next few states didn’t: Florida, Texas, and Georgia (funny how Florida and Texas had large uninsured drops even though they didn’t expand Medicaid). One can keep going, and note that it’s not just that African-Americans are more often in states that didn’t expand Medicaid than did, but that poverty rates are not the same by state.

If you go here where poverty rates are given by state and race/ethnicity, you will see that for the states with many African-Americans where Medicaid was expanded, the poverty rate for African-Americans was near their average for the country or less than that.

Many of the high African-American states that did not expand Medicaid had higher-than-average African-American poverty (they tended to have higher-than-average White poverty as well, which could be a very good indicator that such states might not have the resources to pay for expanded Medicaid.)

One can do similar analyses with the Latino population, and I think you will find that Latinos have a different geographic distribution, and are more likely to live in states like California, where Medicaid was expanded.

I cannot explain why the result was so good in Texas, though. There may be something interesting there.


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