May 5, 2016
How Are Moms Faring under the Affordable Care Act? Evidence through 2014
By Michael Karpman, Jason Gates, Genevieve M. Kenney, Stacey McMorrow
The number of uninsured mothers fell from 7.5 million in 2013 to 5.9 million in 2014, as the uninsurance rate for mothers reached its lowest point since 1997. The largest declines in uninsurance were found among low- and moderate-income mothers who were targeted by the ACA's Medicaid expansion and the introduction of subsidized Marketplace coverage, respectively.
Despite these gains in coverage, nearly one in six mothers remained uninsured in 2014, and these mothers were disproportionately young, low-income, Hispanic, noncitizens, less educated, not married, and living in the South. One particularly concerning finding is that about one in five mothers who were likely to have the greatest physical and mental health care needs—those who reported being in less than very good health or having moderate or severe psychological distress—were uninsured.
When asked about the reasons why they do not have health insurance or stopped having coverage, 41.5 percent of uninsured mothers in 2014 said it was because the cost was too high. The next most frequently reported reason was that coverage stopped after pregnancy (18.7 percent). In addition, some mothers identified their inability to get employer-based coverage as a reason for being uninsured, either because they or the person in their family with coverage lost or changed jobs (18.0 percent) or because their current employer does not offer coverage (7.3 percent). Over 5 percent said they had lost Medicaid or other coverage because of a new job or increase in income, and 18.6 percent reported not having coverage for other reasons, such as divorce, separation, or death of a spouse or parent, becoming ineligible because of age or leaving school, denial of coverage from an insurance company, or not needing coverage.
Comment by Don McCanne
Most would agree that having healthy mothers would be of benefit to their children. Suppose 5.9 million mothers were uninsured, wouldn't it seem that we should enact health care reform that would address this problem? In fact, we did enact the Affordable Care Act, and between 2013 and 2014 the number dropped from 7.5 million to 5.9 million. Rather than celebrating the "success" of ACA reform, shouldn't we be advocating for reform that really does work for everyone?
Yesterday the Physicians' Proposal for Single-Payer Health Care Reform was released. Under that proposal the number of uninsured mothers would drop to zero. At the following link you can read and download the Proposal and its supporting documents, and provide your personal endorsement:
You don't want to trouble yourself by providing an endorsement? But Mother's Day is this weekend. Surely you'll reconsider, you know, for Mom.