The Affordable Care Act has been colored by politics, legal challenges, misunderstanding and the occasional outright misrepresentation. But now we can paint by the numbers. SLHI has produced an infographic to do just that.
Four times the population of Flagstaff – officially, 265,876 people – gained health insurance coverage during the open enrollment period, either through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, or via the restoration and expansion of AHCCCS (Arizona Medicaid). Nearly 22% of Arizona’s Marketplace-eligible population gained coverage. Arizona met, and slightly beat, projections for Marketplace enrollment. That’s in spite of the fact that only two states received fewer federal assistance dollars to do the work.
Actual enrollment numbers expand the potential for improved health care dialogue between professionals and Arizonans. The Affordable Care Act’s practical impact on everyday lives and long-term health can only be revealed as people gain access and other reform aspects take hold.
People will continue to argue with steps being taken to change the healthcare system, but that’s a hazard of making change. Keeping one eye on the numbers, and another on the goal of improved health, should see us through to a better future.