According to new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau released today, last year marked the largest decrease in the number of uninsured Americans on record. The effect is largely due to implementation of parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “the drop in the uninsured rate in 2014 is several times greater than in any year since the Census Bureau began collecting health coverage data in 1987.”
According to an analysis from the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP), however, Maine hasn’t seen a similar drop. In fact, it’s the only state in the country to see no decrease in the rate of uninsured residents since the ACA was passed in 2010.
“As these disappointing census data show, Mainers are bearing the brunt of the LePage administration’s failed health care policy,” said MECEP Executive Director Garrett Martin in a public statement. “While other states are making big progress, Maine has failed to move forward and has fallen from among the states with the highest percentage of people with health coverage to 24th in the nation.”
“The governor’s success in cutting access to health care for low-income individuals and parents in his first term and his continued opposition to accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid make Maine an outlier when it comes to making sure that more people have access to affordable health care. This will have lasting effects for the health of Maine people and our economy,” said Martin.
Whether or not a state accepted federal health care funds to expand Medicaid coverage seems to be a very significant factor in the differences between states in changing health coverage rates.
Maine failed to accept federal funding to expand health care coverage by just two votes in the House in the 2013-2014 legislative session after a gubernatorial veto and by just a single vote in the Senate earlier this year.