More people able to pay medical bills under ObamaCare

More people able to pay medical bills under ObamaCare

A new study finds that since ObamaCare went into effect, more people are able to pay their family medical bills.

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The study from the Urban Institute finds that the number of adults having trouble paying bills declined from 22 percent in September 2013, before ObamaCare took effect, to 17 percent in March 2015. 

That means about 9.4 million people who previously had trouble paying their bills are now able to do so.

The decline comes in both states that have expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare and states that have not, though states that have agreed to the expansion appear to be doing better.

Non-expansion states fell from 24 percent of their residents having trouble paying medical bills to 20 percent, while expansion states fell from 20 to 15 percent. 

Still, a companion study from the Urban Institute shows having health insurance seems to help reduce trouble in paying medical bills, but does not entirely eliminate it. 

Republicans argue that although ObamaCare is increasing the number of people with insurance, it is not providing quality coverage and still leaves people exposed. 

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoGOP senators introduce bill to prevent family separations at border Overnight Energy: Senate panel sets Pruitt hearing | Colorado joins California with tougher emissions rules | Court sides with Trump on coal leasing program Pruitt to testify before Senate panel in August MORE (R-Wyo.), a leading critic of the law, has taken to the Senate floor in a series of speeches to argue ObamaCare plans are poor in quality. “People have Washington-mandated coverage, but they still can’t afford to get care,” he said. 

The second new Urban Institute study finds that 70 percent of people with medical debt say the bills are from times when they had insurance. 

Another recent study from the Commonwealth Fund could help explain this dynamic. It found that one-quarter of people with health insurance are paying so much in deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses, they are considered “underinsured.”

Barrasso cited this study to argue, “All across the country, Americans are struggling under the costs of health care, under this healthcare law.”