Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Impact of the ACA (Obamacare) in Utah and Pennsylvania by Ethnicity and Race

I have just relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah for a job.  I've decided to look at how the state differs from my former state Pennsylvania.  The graph above shows the trends for both states and the US from 2006 to 2014 (the method they used to collect the data changed in 2008 which is why there is a break in the lines from 2007 to 2008).  The rates for Utah are a lot closer to the national rates than are Pennsylvania's

The rates for the US and Utah decreased significantly from 2010 to 2013 with a decrease from 17.7% to 16.8% in the US and with a larger decrease from 16.7% to 15.3% in Utah.  The decrease for Pennsylvania over the same period was smaller from 12.1% in 2010 to 11.6% in 2013.

Looking at the Uninsured rates by race reveals a different picture.  For African Americans, The high year in Utah was 2008 with a rate of 21.5% with a decrease to 18.5% in 2013.  The US rate peaked in 2010 at 19.9% with a decrease to 18.5% in 2013.  The PA rate for African Americans peaked in 2009 at 16.2% with a decrease to 15.4% in 2013.

The rates for Hispanics are significantly higher than Caucasians or African Americans in the US as a whole and for both PA and UT.  Utah's rates are significantly higher than the US rates for all years shown with a peak of 40.1% in 2008 decreasing to 33.8% in 2013.  The US rate for Hispanics peaked at 32.6% in 2009 to 30.0% in 2013.  For PA the rate increased from a low of 21.5% in 2008 to a high of 23.3% in 2011 leveling off to 22.7 in 2013.

The Caucasian uninsured rates for UT and the US corresponded very closely until 2012 and 2013 when the UT rate decreased from a high if 13% in 2010 to 11.7% in 2013.  The US Caucasian rate peaked at 13% in 2010 to 12.3% in 2013.  The PA rate increased from a low of 9.1% in 2008 to a high of 10.4% in both 2010 and 2011 decreasing to 9,8% in 2013.

The changes in the rates for minority groups do not correspond in the same way to the main events of the passage of thee Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 or the Great Recession of 2009.  The ACA was fully implemented in last quarter of 2013.  Medicaid expansion has not yet been implemented in either state but it has been in 23 states with an additional 5 considering their own version of expansion.  The national rate has so far not shown a dramatic drop in the rates.  If one adds Connecticut (one of the first states to expand Medicaid) to the first chart there was a slight decrease in the uninsured rate in 2011 from 10.4% to 10.1% with an increase to 10.9% in 2013.

PA was implementing it's own version of expansion under Gov. Tom Corbett but is now considering a standard expansion.  Utah is debating which way to go with it's expansion.  Next years estimates should provide a clearer picture of the effect of the exchanges and medicaid expansion.

Where the States Stand
Via: The Advisory Board Company

**Related Posts**

The Affordable Care Act Having Little Effect on PA's Uninsured in 2013


Latino rates in Pennsylvania's Uninsured (Cross Post with PUSH)


A Statistical Profile of the Uninsured in Washington, DC, New Mexico, and Texas


Racial and Gender Differences in Pennsylvania's Uninsured