The State of Health Care – President Obama’s Recent JAMA Article

Six years after the adoption of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and with President Obama’s second term in office coming to a close, a great deal of scrutiny has been placed on health care trends in the United States under the new law.

To address this topic, President Obama recently released a scholarly article in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), notable as the first time a president has published a scholarly work while in office. Reading as part retrospective, part analysis and part call-to-action, the article entitled “United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps,” details the impact of the ACA.

Findings and data from the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index are cited prominently in the article, illustrating the impact that expanded Medicaid coverage and state-based marketplace exchanges have had on lowering uninsured rates.

The results are telling – there is a near doubling in the reduction of uninsured rates in states who had adopted both provisions.

Since 2008, Gallup and Sharecare have tracked uninsured rates across the U.S. and the Well-Being Index is considered one of the most authoritative measures on this topic. Our research shows that the adoption of the ACA has had a profound effect on reducing uninsured rates, which have declined 6.1 percentage points since the fourth quarter of 2013, right before the key provision of the Affordable Care Act took effect. As of the 2Q 2015, uninsured rates are at historical lows.

“The substantive analysis presented by President Obama on the impact of the ACA underscores the importance of tracking health and well-being of our citizens on an ongoing basis,” said Mr. Witters. “It is an honor to be cited by the President, and we hope our ongoing well-being research continues to be  leveraged to highlight opportunities for improving population health and our health care system nationwide.”

For additional commentary on the JAMA article, click here.