Washington State Lawmakers Smart to Embrace Affordable Care Act
Census data released today shows that the number of people without health care coverage in Washington state (960,000) remained unchanged between 2012 and 2013. The new data, however, is not recent enough to capture the impact of Washington state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has enrolled over a half million people since the close of open enrollment earlier this year.
Washington state lawmakers were smart to embrace the ACA. As a result of our state’s decision to expand Medicaid and create a state-based Exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder, 552,000 Washingtonians were able to access affordable health care this year.
Next year’s Census data will begin to show the benefits of expanding health care coverage under the ACA in Washington state, but other national data collection efforts are already giving a preview. Data from the Centers of Disease Control show the national rate of uninsured is at its lowest since the late 1990s, and the Congressional Budget Office projects an additional 12 million people will become insured by the end of 2014. The CBO also reports that the ACA will decrease the federal deficit even more so than initially projected.