Life in Obamacare’s Dead Zone – The New York Times

A PHS 795 student writes about an article in the NYT about working, low-income Americans who are eligible for neither Medicaid nor subsidized insurance on the ACA exchanges:

Yesterday, an article was published on the New York Times regarding the coverage gap between Obamacare and Medicaid. I was moved by this poignant article, as it discusses the personal ramifications of being uninsured. This article discusses the innovative ways providers had adapted to the overwhelming demands of treating the uninsured and medically isolated, where the coverage gap exists. This article reemphasizes the fact that being uninsured is still costly. It is costly on the uninsured mental health, it is costly on community contributions, and it is costly to treat potentially preventable diseases that could have been managed if the uninsured had been able to see a physician on a regular basis.

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One thought on “Life in Obamacare’s Dead Zone – The New York Times

  1. This is an example of how public health policy makers need to be aware of political climate and feasibility/acceptability of programs. Policy makers should have policy ready in order to catch a favorable political climate (for example, a good time to push for increased funding for emergency preparedness or infectious disease control was during the beginning of the Zika outbreak when the media was driving public concern). Policy makers should also be aware of the obstacles they will face in an unfavorable political climate. It may have seemed unreasonable or harmful to wait for Republican state governments to finally get on board with health care reform, but releasing the ACA during a time of political division resulted in an incomplete and fractured version that did not do the good it was designed to do. Part of public health policy making is not only designing effective legislation but also interpreting potential reception and mitigating harmful responses.

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