In a story that was oddly downplayed by the Wisconsin media, the New York Times reported on a study from Enroll America, who has been working to sign up people under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), which shows where the uninsured rates have gone down, and not gone down, in the year since the Obamacare exchanges opened up for serving citizens. The same study shows the current uninsured rates for all counties in the country, and offers quite the eye test for how state policies can affect the amount of people enrolled.
Remember that Wisconsin and Indiana are the only states in the upper Midwest that have not expanded Medicaid under Obamacare, and also note that Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arkansas are pretty much the only states in south of the Ohio River and west of Texas that have expanded. And look at which places have the darker colors, which shows that they are lowering the uninsured rate the most.
Whole lot of pale yellow in Wisconsin, isn't there? The county that lowered the uninsured rate the most was Menominee County, from 22% to 15%. And that has little to do with state efforts, as that's where the Menominee Indian Reservation is located, with plenty of federal outreach and agencies to give information on Obamacare. It's also one of the poorest areas of the state, with the highest amount of unemployment.
The same pattern holds for looking at uninsured rates throughout the country for 2014. Remember that Wisconsin was 7th when it came to the lowest amount of uninsured for 2012, at 9.8%. That doesn't look to be the case anymore, as the vast majority of Wisconsin counties have uninsured rates above 10% (the red-voting WOW Counties near Milwaukee are an exception, funny that), and it's not hard to figure out which places took expanded Medicaid, and who didn't.
Feel free to pass along to your friends in advance of Tuesday, and remind them that one candidate that says she will expand Medicaid, and one candidate says he won't. As I said yesterday, choose wisely, my friends.