AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 6, 2014 -- Researchers at the LBJ School of Public Affairs have released a report that offers an in-depth analysis of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Texas. This report, which is part of a national effort, provides detailed background information on the history of the Affordable Care Act in Texas. In addition, it focuses on the impact of the ACA on Medicaid, CHIP, immigrant workers and the self-employed.
The report titled “Enrolling in Health Insurance Through the Affordable Care Act: A Texas Case Study” is the product of a yearlong research project headed by Professors David Warner and Sam Richardson and Elizabeth Colvin of Foundation Communities. This report is part of the Field Network Study of the Implementation of the ACA sponsored by the Fels Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and the Rockefeller Institute at SUNY Albany.
“We have had the opportunity to study how a major piece – some would say, the major piece – of legislation in this decade would be implemented at the state and local level,” said Warner. “In this report we offer a nonpartisan overview of the political landscape in the state and how political and administrative leaders and institutions have responded to this initiative.”
The report is broken into two sections. The first section provides an account of the implementation of the ACA in Texas from March 2010 through November 2013 and focuses on responses by the state to the requirements of the ACA as well as the system in place to enroll and inform Texans regarding their responsibilities and rights under the Act. The second part of the report examines a number of topics more in-depth including:
- Consumer assistance and education;
- Changes to the Texas Insurance Market;
- Impacts on Medicaid and CHIP;
- Impacts on immigrant workers and the self-employed.
The researchers led a team of 17 graduate students who, in addition to their research and writing, spent 50 hours each serving as Certified Application Counselors for a local nonprofit, Foundation Communities, helping them design their initiative to provide assistance to Austin-area residents who wished to explore their options under the ACA while assisting residents in understanding and possibly enrolling in the health insurance.
“This experience both with the marketplace and its requirements and options as well as the one-on-one interactions with individuals and families made for a far richer and better informed analysis,” said Warner.