Who Are Americans? Interactive Exercises

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Who Opposed the Affordable Health Care Act?

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, the states set the eligibility requirements for Medicaid, the government’s health insurance program for lower-income Americans. States set various thresholds for Medicaid eligibility, which is shown below as a percentage of the federal poverty level (FPL); a lower number means it is harder to qualify for Medicaid benefits. The ACA now forces states to set Medicaid eligibility at 133 percent of the FPL.

Passage of the ACA resulted in strong partisan divisions over the impact of the new law, and more than half of the states challenged the law in court. In June 2008, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold the legislation referred to as “Obamacare.” This activity will help illustrate why some states challenged the law, and some of the controversies associated with it.

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1.
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Do you agree that there should be standard guidelines for Medicaid eligibility, or should each state decide for itself?
2.
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Identify two states with populations between 15 and 39 percent of FPL.
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3.
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There are six states where the number of uninsured people is between 15 and 39 percent. Name two.
4.
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What is the connection between the Medicaid Eligibility graphic and the Uninsured Graphic?
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5.
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Why do you think the 26 states highlighted here challenged the ACA?
6.
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In general, are these states where the ACA made it easier or harder to get Medicaid?
7. Although Texas has more individuals qualifying for Medicaid and more people in need of insurance, why do you think Texas is one those state that challenged the ACA?
8.
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Use this interactive tool from the New York Times to determine the personal impact of the ACA. What are the personal costs/benefits for you?
9.
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Using this interactive tool from the Kaiser Foundation, discuss some of the economic advantages and disadvantages of implementing the ACA across the nation?

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