Census report shows Affordable Care Act is working

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By Consumers Union on Monday, September 19th, 2011

A new report released by the Census Bureau showed that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is expanding healthcare coverage to more than 500,000 young adults in 2010, a number expected to continue rising.

The full extent of the ACA’s coverage-expansion provisions, such as increasing Medicaid eligibility and offering subsidies and competitive insurance markets to those without access to employer-sponsored coverage, don’t kick in until 2014. Several other reforms though, such as a measure in last year’s law allowing young adults to stay covered by their parents’ policy until they are 26, are already in place.

The result has been impressive: hundreds of thousands of young adults under age 26 continue to be insured after leaving home, graduating, or losing work-based coverage. The measure is a great relief to mothers like Lori Bresnan, who travelled to DC last January to tell Congress not to repeal the measure. Even more remarkable is that this happened at the same time that the economic downturn caused employer-based insurance to fall to a record low.

Despite the good news, achieving health reform’s goal of full coverage for all remains an ongoing effort. If we can reach January 1, 2014 without having the law repealed or substantially undermined, millions more Americans will have this same security.

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