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The Affordable Care Act – Better vs. Nothing

When the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare started it wasn’t smoothly. The computer system didn’t work well and only 106,000 people signed up for new health plans in its first month. Many pointed to the beginning as proof that the government couldn’t handle a new massive bureaucracy.

Of the 8.2 million people who could lose their insurance altogether, nearly 10,000 could die annually due to lack of coverage.

Here are a few facts that will help health professionals better understand the changes occurring within the industry.

Number of times Congress has voted to repeal Obamacare (so far): 56

Percentage of Americans who say the Affordable Care Act has…

…helped them or their families: 19%

…hurt them or their families: 22%

…had no direct impact on them: 57%

106,000 people signed up for new health plans in its first month

Nearly 30 million Americans have gotten health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

The rate of uninsured adults has dropped to 12.3%.

Number of adults without health insurance in 2013: 41 million. Today: 30 million

The Congressional Budget Office’s latest estimate of how much Obamacare’s subsidies will cost: $209 billion less than projected

Healthcare Facts You Should Know

America spends more per capita on health than all other countries in the world.

America has the highest infant mortality rate among 23 other industrialized nations.

Although nearly 46 million Americans are uninsured, the United States spends more on healthcare than other industrialized nations, and those countries provide health insurance to all their citizens.

Life expectancy of American men and women is less than other industrialized nations.

The United States has a higher rate of medical mistakes, medication errors, or lab errors than Canada; Australia; New Zealand; Germany; and the United Kingdom.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimates that 44,000 to 99,000 patients die in hospitals each year due to medical errors.

Disparities in Healthcare

Disparities in quality of healthcare are common:

Black, American Indians or Alaska Natives received worse care than Whites for about 40% of measures.

Asians received worse care than Whites for about 20% of measures.

Hispanics received worse care than non-Hispanic Whites for about 60% of core measures.

Poor people received worse care than high-income people for about 80% of core measures.

Disparities in access are also common, especially among Hispanics and poor people:

Blacks had worse access to care than Whites for one-third of core measures.

Asians and AI/ANs had worse access to care than Whites for 1 of 5 core measures.

Hispanics had worse access to care than non-Hispanic Whites for 5 of 6 core measures.

Poor people had worse access to care than high-income people for all 6 core measures