Monday, October 23, 2017

Bipartisan ACA plan would affect relatively few, but disproportionately in rural areas, Republican states

Amid the hot debate over the proposed Alexander-Murray bill to repair Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act marketplaces, Drew Altman of the Kaiser Family Foundation throws in a word of caution: The bill is a narrowly focused effort that aims to fix a problem only affecting relatively few Americans. The reality check is necessary, he believes, because a recent KFF poll indicates that some people have the wrong idea about who's affected by changes in ACA plans.
Kaiser Family Foundation chart; click on it to enlarge.
"Many people will think it affects their insurance when, in actuality, it will have no impact on the vast majority of Americans who get their coverage outside of the relatively small ACA marketplaces," Altman reports. Because of that mistaken impression, "The public will be susceptible to spin and misrepresentation against the limited goals of Alexander-Murray: a bipartisan effort to stabilize the marketplaces by funding the cost-sharing reduction subsidies, providing more resources for open enrollment outreach, and expediting state waivers."

Bloomberg map; click on it to enlarge.
It should be noted that, though changes to the ACA marketplace plans won't affect most Americans, those it does affect will be disproportionately rural. It may end up hurting Republicans more too, since nearly 70 percent of the people who receive the cost-sharing subsidies live in red states.

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