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Uninsured Rates Drop in Every Kentucky County Under the Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the House floor today, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) highlighted dramatic reductions in the rate of the uninsured in Kentucky counties as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Yarmuth used county-by-county maps showing rates of uninsured Kentuckians before and after the health care law was implemented.

The maps, provided by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, use Census data, as well as enrollment figures and estimates from Kynect, the state’s health insurance marketplace created under the law, to show the county-level impact of health reform. (A hi-res version of the maps is available here.)

The orange and red in the top map show counties with pre-ACA uninsured rates of 14 percent to more than 20 percent. In the bottom map, the green and blue show counties with post-ACA uninsured rates that range from less than 5 percent to 11 percent.

“In just six months, the Affordable Care Act reduced the total number of uninsured Kentuckians by nearly half,” Yarmuth said (watch video of his remarks). “Behind every number, and behind every red county turned blue or green, are the stories of a person or family getting the health care they need. That’s success by any standard – but most importantly, Kentucky’s standards.”

More than 413,000 Kentuckians have obtained quality, affordable health insurance through Kynect – three-quarters of them for the first time. And each of Kentucky’s 120 counties has experienced a decrease in the number of uninsured residents. In Leslie, Perry, and Letcher counties in Eastern Kentucky, the uninsured rate fell from more than 20 percent before the ACA to less than 5 percent since Kynect began open enrollment on Oct. 1, 2013.

Click here for a hi-res version

 

The full text of Yarmuth’s remarks:

 

Mr. Speaker, my home state of Kentucky has been a national model for how the Affordable Care Act can succeed. Through Kynect, our state exchange, more than 413,000 Kentuckians have gotten health insurance – nearly 310,000 of them for the first time.

These two maps show how health reform has reduced the rate of the uninsured in the Commonwealth’s 120 counties. The orange and red in the top map show counties with pre-Affordable Care Act uninsured rates of 14 percent to more than 20 percent. Some of the most impoverished areas, such as Eastern Kentucky, also had the highest uninsured rates.

The bottom map shows Kentucky today, under the health care law. Only one county still has an uninsured rate of more than 14 percent. In three counties in the heart of Appalachia, the uninsured rate plummeted from more than 20 percent to less than 5 percent, as shown in blue.

Mr. Speaker, overall, in just six months, the Affordable Care Act reduced the total number of uninsured Kentuckians by nearly half. Behind every number, and behind every red county turned blue or green, are the stories of a person or family getting the health care they need. That’s success by any standard – but most importantly, Kentucky’s standards.