Two years ago, I was riveted by TNR reporter Alec MacGillis' chat with a woman on line for a free REM medical clinic in rural Tennessee. Notwithstanding that she knew nothing about the ACA, she offered a stunning instant analysis, once the basics were described to her, of one likely economic effect:
..it it was hard to find visitors to the clinic who would not benefit directly from the law. Barbara Hickey, 54, is a diabetic who lost her insurance five years ago when her husband was injured at his job making fiberglass pipes. She gets discounted diabetic medication from a charity, but came to the clinic to ask a doctor about blood in her urine.Lo, Ms. Hickey was a prophet (perhaps). In Arkansas, which has sliced its uninsured rate almost in half since ACA enactment, mainly by enrolling nearly 200,000 Arkansans in the state's "private option" Medicaid alternative, disability claims seem to be dropping.* Modern Healthcare's Paul Demko reports:**
Under the law, she would qualify for Medicaid. Her eyebrows shot up as the law was described to her. "If they put that law into effect, a lot of people won't need disability," she said. "A lot of people go onto disability because they can't afford health insurance."