How Has Obamacare Affected Californians?

An interactive data visualization tries to answer that question, and highlights health-care trends and statistics resulting from the Affordable Care Act.

by / August 19, 2014
President Barack Obama signs an executive order that reaffirms the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's consistency with longstanding restrictions on use of federal funds for abortion, in the Oval Office, March 24, 2010. The White House/Pete Souza

Amid the ongoing squabble over President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), one California health-care organization is substituting dialogue for hard data.

The California Health Care Foundation, a nonprofit health-care philanthropy based in Oakland, Calif., has launched a tool to capture the ACA's effects on state insurance coverage, medical access and affordability. Since the foundation isn’t a political lobbying group, the ACA 411 app -- the tool’s official name -- is envisioned to be an unbiased repository for the legislation’s developing impact.

Visitors can parse statistics by regions and insurance types, and navigate through tabs of demographic information. Most of the minutia is visualized in colored pie charts, bar graphs and percentages; however, the analytically inclined can download data directly to their desktops.

The visualizations draw from numerous reports, but three act as pillars. These sources include the California Health Interview Survey; the California Health Care Foundation and National Opinion Research Center’s California Employer Health Benefits Survey; and the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust's Employer Health Benefits Survey.

While much of the data stems from 2013 -- making initial pre-ACA comparison difficult -- the foundation is scheduled for major data update this fall and again next year in the spring. Afterwards, routine updates will be the norm.

For details and to see the data in action, click here.





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