a new paper shows one place where the law has been a clear success: narrowing the race gap in health insurance. So why aren’t more Democrats shouting that from the rooftops. In 2013, the year before most of the law’s provisions for subsidized insurance took effect, non-elderly blacks were 47 percent more likely than whites to be uninsured.
For American Indians, that figure was 93 percent; for Hispanics, 120 percent. In 2014, not only did the share of whites without insurance fall; the share of blacks and Asian Americans fell by more. The difference between whites and Hispanics shrank, from 14 percentage points to 11.8 percentage points. What’s odd about the race gap isn’t its persistence, but that its narrowing isn’t more celebrated as one of the law’s accomplishments. Narrowing the race gap in health insurance counts unequivocally as progress.
In this very title lies the crux of a derailed argument that Michael Eric Dyson’s latest travelogue pushes in the New Republic about President Obama vs. SOS Hillary Clinton. How does Dyson arrive at this grand flourish? He traveled with Mrs. Clinton from New York to Atlanta, observed her interaction with the “old Black Guard,” Black Lives Matter activists, and concluded: “Yes She Can.” Can, What? Stay tuned.
But first, some cold hard FACTS before we indulge Dyson any further. In case he missed it, Prez Obama ALWAYS says: “Yes WE Can”, not “Yes I can”. He never lost sight of the collective effort required to drive the disparate gears that grind within this country toward the collective good.
And Contrary to Dyson’s erasure of the Obama Administration’s tangible achievements for Americans, and especially minorities, this is where we have been these past 7 years in three key areas: a) Economy & Employment, b) Healthcare, c) Incarceration rates
1. We suffered a financial catastrophe in 2007-2008 that collapsed not only US economy but global financial system too. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act aka Stimulus Package was passed in early 2009 to put a floor beneath the abyss that people were falling into. Unfortunately, many Liberals joined GOP to mock the unprecedented scope of the Stimulus and missed its remarkable successes . And as with most Obama policy successes, the real value of the stimulus has been better known to its enemies, than its beneficiaries. Here are the numbers:
2. At Prez Obama’s inauguration we were losing 800,000 jobs per MONTH! Unemployment rates skyrocketed to 10.1% before his 6th month in office. Today, after more than 13 million net jobs added that Jobless rate is at 5%. The rate for African Americans is higher but it has seen a dramatic decline.
The percentage of women of reproductive age who were uninsured dropped sharply between 2013 and 2014, the first full year of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The decrease among women aged 15–44, calculated by the Guttmacher Institute, mirrors broader national trends reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. This includes steeper drops in the uninsured rate in states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA compared with the rates in those states that did not. The proportion of reproductive-age women without health insurance declined by more than one-fifth between 2013 and 2014, from 17.9% to 13.9%. The change appears to have been driven primarily by gains in Medicaid coverage (from 17.2% to 20.2%). There was a small increase in the proportion of women with private health insurance, from 60.9% to 62.1%.
Gains in insurance coverage among reproductive-age women who live below the poverty line were substantial as well. The uninsured rate dropped by one-fifth, from 32.1% in 2013 to 25.6% in 2014. The gains in the proportion of women aged 15–44 who have insurance coverage has significant implications for access to health care in general, and to sexual and reproductive health care in particular. Medicaid has long offered a very robust package of sexual and reproductive health care services, including family planning services and supplies without out-of-pocket costs for enrollees. And the ACA has spurred significant improvements in private plans’ coverage; most notably, the contraceptive coverage guarantee ensures that privately insured women can access the full range of 18 Food and Drug Administration–approved contraceptive methods for women without out-of-pocket costs.