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The Trump administration finalizes a coal-friendly emissions rule for power plants. Also on today's rundown: A new development in the debate over the 2020 Census citizenship question; and why "Juneteenth" is an encore celebration in Florida and other states.

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Report Shows Connecticut Benefits from Obamacare

The latest analysis says without the Affordable Care Act, more than 161,000 Connecticut residents would have no health insurance. (sasint/Pixabay)
The latest analysis says without the Affordable Care Act, more than 161,000 Connecticut residents would have no health insurance. (sasint/Pixabay)
July 24, 2017

HARTFORD, Conn. – The Trump administration remains determined to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but a new analysis shows that in Connecticut, the law has had some real benefits.

The Urban Institute report says the ACA has cut the rate of residents with no health insurance almost in half statewide, and reduced uncompensated care in hospitals by more than 60 percent.

And while the gains in coverage are due largely to expanding Medicaid and creating the insurance marketplace, Patricia Baker, president and CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation, points out that virtually everyone in the state has made gains.

"One-point-nine-million with employer-sponsored coverage have benefited by the elimination of copays for preventative services, as well as elimination of the lifetime caps," she says.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging senators to at least vote this week to open debate about repealing the ACA.

The analysis found that a repeal would mean more than 160,000 Connecticut residents now covered under the law would lose their health insurance.

Baker notes that more than 80 percent of those who would lose coverage live in working families, most with full-time workers.

"All of us know those families; they're our neighbors and our friends," she adds. "It has made a huge impact economically, as well as allowing peace of mind, which is what I think all of us want.

The report says eliminating ACA would hit some groups especially hard, including people of color, young adults, and those with no education beyond high school.

The analysis doesn't look only at the benefits of the ACA. Baker says the researchers cover issues like market stability, cost control and quality of care, and suggest ways the law could be reformed.

"The ACA was the first effort," she continues, "And as in many efforts, you hope that you continue to learn and improve."

Ironically, since the November election, popular support for the Affordable Care Act has increased, and polls show a majority of Americans now view the law favorably.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT