The Obama administration
has issued another of its reports on the positive benefits of the Affordable Care Act,
otherwise familiarly known as Obamacare. Arkansas
has been a big winner.
The Health and Human Services Department says:
* Growth in cost of employer-sponsored health plans slowed to an average 3.4 percent in 2016. At the old growth rate, it said, the policies would have cost an average $1,900 more per family.
* Only 9.5 percent of Arkansans are uninsured, against 17.5 percent in 2015 — 234,000 more people.
* Readmission to hospitals for Medicare recipients dropped 6.2 percent between 2010 and 2015.
* The slowdown in health care cost increases has meant a savings of almost a half-trillion in Medicare spending from 2009 to 2014.
Quality has improved despite savings in money. Said the release:
For example, since 2010, the rate of patient harm in U.S. hospitals has fallen by 17 percent. Cumulatively since 2010, this translates into 2.1 million avoided patient harms, like infections and medication errors, an estimated 87,000 avoided deaths, and over $20 billion in savings.