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The Affordable Care Act has significantly reduced health care disparities, the report said

The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010 by former President Barack Obama, expanded health insurance coverage across the United States and significantly reduced racial and ethnic disparities in access to health care, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund.

Percentage of US adults aged 19-64 who are uninsured by race/ethnicity

Coverage disparities among black, Hispanic, and white adults have narrowed substantially since 2013. All groups reported improvement between 2019 and 2021.

Commonwealth Fund

“Since its passage in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped cut U.S. uninsured rates nearly in half while significantly reducing racial and ethnic disparities in both insurance coverage and access to care — especially in states that have expanded their Medicaid programs,” Read the report.

Data show that before the 2013 implementation of the Medicaid expansion – a provision of the ACA that made more families eligible for Medicaid coverage – 40.2% of the Hispanic population, 24.4% of the black population and 14.5% of the white population were uninsured. In America. However, by 2021, these numbers have decreased significantly to 24.5%, 13.5%, and 8.2%, respectively.

Percentage-point change in uninsured rates by state and race/ethnicity for US adults aged 19–64 from 2019 to 2021

Uninsured rates for black and Hispanic adults improved significantly in several states between 2019 and 2021, while white adults experienced modest gains in most regions.

Commonwealth Fund

As more than 5 million people gained coverage between 2020 and 2022 during the pandemic, the overall uninsured rate in the U.S. fell to just 8%, a historic low, the report said.

The report highlights specific ACA successes, including improved coverage rates for black, Hispanic and white adults.

“The coverage gap between black and white adults narrowed from 9.9 to 5.3 percentage points, while the gap between Hispanic and white adults narrowed from 25.7 to 16.3 points,” according to the study.

Additionally, the report found that uninsured rates for black, Hispanic and white adults improved in the first two years of the pandemic across all states — whether they expanded their Medicare coverage or not — and that black and Hispanic adults experienced larger gains. in insurance coverage compared to their White counterparts between 2019 and 2021.

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