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.
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.