Summary: Researchers study the impact of Medicaid funding structures before and after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on health care access for Latinos in New York (Medicaid expansion), Florida (Medicaid non-expansion), and Puerto Rico (Medicaid block grant). Pooled state-level data for New York, Florida, and Puerto Rico from the 2011–2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and data from the 2011–2019 American Community Survey and Puerto Rico Community Survey were used for this study.
This cross-sectional study used probit with predicted margins to separately compare four health care access measures (having health insurance coverage, having a personal doctor, delayed care due to cost, and having a routine checkup) among Latinos in New York, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Authors also used difference-in-differences to measure the probability percent change of having any health insurance and any public health insurance before (2011–2013) and after (2014–2019) the ACA implementation among citizen Latinos in low-income households.
The sample consisted of Latinos aged 18–64 residing in New York, Florida, and Puerto Rico from 2011 to 2019.
Findings: Latinos in Florida had the lowest probability of having health care access across all four measures and all time periods compared with those in New York and Puerto Rico. While Latinos in Puerto Rico had greater overall health care access compared with Latinos in both states, health care access in Puerto Rico did not change over time. Among citizen Latinos in low-income households, New York had the greatest post-ACA probability of having any health insurance and any public health insurance, with a growing disparity with Puerto Rico.
Limited Medicaid eligibility (non-expansion of Florida's Medicaid program) and capped Medicaid funds (Puerto Rico's Medicaid block grant) contributed to reduced health care access over time, particularly for citizen Latinos in low-income households.
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