This is just a drive-by sidelight on Richard’s brief — but its worth taking a look at this explainer from the Upshot.
The good news: Obamacare is doing what it set out to do. Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger-Katz write that
The biggest winners from the law include people between the ages of 18 and 34; blacks; Hispanics; and people who live in rural areas. The areas with the largest increases in the health insurance rate, for example, include rural Arkansas and Nevada; southern Texas; large swaths of New Mexico, Kentucky and West Virginia; and much of inland California and Oregon.
Each of these trends is going in the opposite direction of larger economic patterns. Young people have fared substantially worse in the job market than older people in recent years. Blacks and Hispanics have fared worse than whites and Asians. Rural areas have fallen further behind larger metropolitan areas.
Women are the one modest exception. They have benefited more from Obamacare than men, and they have received larger raises in recent years. But of course women still make considerably less money than men, so an economic benefit for women still pushes against inequality in many ways. [all links in the original]
The bad news: it sucks to be ruled by the Republican cabal. Or rather, it’s great if your state government actually managed to get used to the idea of Free Money! (h/t the indispensable Charles Pierce):
Despite many Republican voters’ disdain for the Affordable Care Act, parts of the country that lean the most heavily Republican (according to 2012 presidential election results) showed significantly more insurance gains than places where voters lean strongly Democratic. That partly reflects underlying rates of insurance. In liberal places, like Massachusetts and Hawaii, previous state policies had made insurance coverage much more widespread, leaving less room for improvement. But the correlation also reflects trends in wealth and poverty. Many of the poorest and most rural states in the country tend to favor Republican politicians. Of course, the fact that Republican areas showed disproportionate insurance gains does not mean that only Republicans signed up; there are many Democrats living in even the most strongly Republican regions of the country.
But for the rest…
There are still a lot of uninsured people remaining, many in the places that had high uninsured rates last year.
Where would those folk live? Check out the last map in the piece. No one here will be surprised.
Image: Rembrandt van Rijn, Christ Preaching (Christ Healing the Sick — the hundred guilder print), 1646-50.