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Affordable Care Act Gives Significantly More Washingtonians Access to Health Care

Posted by Lori Pfingst at Sep 16, 2015 05:25 PM |
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Thanks to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 300,000 additional Washingtonians are now able to see a doctor when they need to. That’s equivalent to almost the entire population of the cities of Everett and Tacoma combined. This is according to a new U.S. Census report which shows an overall 5 percent increase in the number of people in our state who have obtained health coverage since 2013. 

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Washington state’s decision to embrace Medicaid expansion is a major reason for the increase in people covered, and it was an important step in the right direction for advancing the health of Washington’s residents. 

Today, 91 percent of all Washingtonians, and 95 percent of children, are able to see a doctor, go to the hospital, or fill a prescription when they need to. Washington state mirrors the national trend, which showed a historic rise in the number of people with health care coverage.

The Census report contains the first data to show the initial impact – and clear success – of the expansion of health care coverage under the ACA. In fact, nationally, the 25 states (including the District of Columbia) that expanded Medicaid by the January 2014 deadline had much larger increases in health care coverage than states that did not expand the program.  

Stay tuned as we continue to provide further details on health insurance trends in Washington state, as well as on new poverty and income data to be released by the U.S. Census.

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Our Seattle Policy Summit

You can watch our Budget Matters 2017 Seattle Policy Summit, which took place on December 6, online. The first part of the day (watch here) featured Washington State Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib and Race Forward President Glenn Harris. The second part of the day (watch here) featured Budget & Policy Center Senior Policy Analyst Jennifer Tran, and a panel of local leaders moderated by Michael Brown of the Seattle Foundation. 

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Washington state should be a place where all our residents have strong communities, great schools, and the chance for a bright future. Our 2017-2019 Legislative Agenda outlines the priorities we are working to advance to build a better Washington.

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We'll be in Olympia throughout the 2018 legislative session to testify in support of bills that advance our legislative priorities. Stay tuned for links to the testimonies of our policy analysts (as featured on TVW).