Obamacare Has Improved Access to Health Care

Jonathan Cohn points to new research suggesting that since Obamacare’s implementation, Americans have better access to health care.

“It’s one more reason to think Obamacare is not the fiasco that critics claim it to be.”

“In a new paper for the Journal of the American Medical Association, a group of scholars attempt to produce a before-and-after picture of the health care law’s implementation. To do so, they draw on three years of data from Gallup’s ongoing ‘well-being index’ survey.”

The researchers “adjusted the responses for variables like unemployment, in an attempt to isolate the effects of the health care law from other factors, such as the recovering economy. The researchers also looked specifically at the trends — in other words, whether access to care was getting worse before the health care law’s implementation, and, if so, whether that deterioration stopped.”

“Every trend had been getting worse — and then, with the health law’s full implementation, either stopped getting worse or started getting better. Lead author Benjamin Sommers … said the difference amounted to 11 million more adults saying they can afford their health care and 6.8 million reporting they were in good health.”

“The ACA’s first 2 open enrollment periods were associated with significantly improved trends in self-reported coverage, access to primary care and medications, affordability, and health.”

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