KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

White House ‘Reassessing’ 2015 Enrollment Goals; Major Coverage Gains Made Among Latinos

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Wednesday that the health law's insurance programs have reduced the nation's overall uninsured population by 26 percent.   

Los Angeles Times: White House Reassessing Obamacare Enrollment Goal For 2015
The Obama administration, which is scrambling to prepare a new push to enroll Americans in health coverage under the federal health law, is reassessing how many more people will sign up, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Wednesday. About 7.3 million people are enrolled in health plans being sold through marketplaces created this year by the Affordable Care Act, according to federal figures (Levey, 9/24).

Bloomberg: Burwell Touts Obamacare Gains Heading To Next Enrollment
President Barack Obama’s new health secretary said Obamacare is expanding U.S. insurance coverage and lowering consumers’ health-care costs. She declined to predict how well the program’s enrollment system will work in November, when consumers begin a new year of sign-ups. Taking questions yesterday from reporters for the first time at a White House news conference, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said insurance programs created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have reduced the nation’s uninsured population by 26 percent. She called the reduction “the most important number” to measure the law’s success (Wayne, 9/25).

Los Angeles Times: Number Of Latinos With Insurance Coverage Surges Under Healthcare Law
The federal healthcare law has dramatically increased coverage among Latinos, according to a new report that provides a comprehensive look at the effects of the Affordable Care Act on a historically underinsured community. Overall, the percentage of Latinos ages 19 to 64 lacking health coverage fell from 36% to 23% between summer 2013 and spring 2014 (Levey, 9/24).

Politico Pro: Survey Finds Big Insurance Gain, Gap Among Latinos
While the overall uninsured rate among Latinos dropped substantially after the first Obamacare sign-up season, it remained unchanged in states that did not expand Medicaid, according to a Commonwealth Fund survey released Thursday. The uninsured rate among Latino adults fell from 36 percent before open enrollment began last October to 23 percent by June. By comparison, the overall uninsurance rate among U.S. adults dropped from 20 percent to 15 percent (Wheaton, 9/25).

Marketplace: Health Care Coverage Reaches Latinos
The percentage of Latinos who lack health insurance has fallen by more than a third since the Affordable Care Act kicked in this year, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund, a health care policy group. Historically, Latinos have been one of the least-covered groups in the U.S. when it comes to health insurance. Michelle Doty, the lead author of the report, says the low coverage has a lot to do with employment trends. "For a long time, Latinos have tended to work in jobs that don't provide health insurance—low wage and small firms," Doty says (Clark, 9/25).

NBC News: Latinos Get Insured By Obamacare In Large Numbers
Enough young Latinos got health insurance under new Obamacare provisions to lower the uninsured rate by 20 points, researchers reported Thursday. Last year, 43 percent of Latinos aged 19 to 34 went without health insurance; by spring of this year that number fell to 23 percent, the Commonwealth Fund found. The overall rate of uninsured Latinos dropped from 36 percent to 23 percent, Michelle Doty and colleagues found (Fox, 9/25).

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