Data Matters was created to help ensure that nonpartisan, trusted health care delivery and health reform information on Illinois and the Chicago metropolitan area are available to all who need them. Accurate data in accessible meaningful formats is essential to successful Affordable Care Act implementation and to all public policy involving justice and quality in extending access to care.
While data abound on the national effects of low access to health insurance and other weaknesses of our health care system, Illinois-specific data is scarce, and doubly so at a sub-state level of granularity.
At IHM, we believe that consulting the data is often the best way to understand the effects of public policy measures, of stalemates such as the 2015-16 Illinois budget crisis, and of state-specific enactments, such as Medicaid expansion or the Illinois Medicaid Redetermination Project.
Chicago and Metro Area
Prior to the ACA, about 30% of Illinois' uninsured lived in Chicago, the majority of them Black or Latino. The city also has the largest concentrations of immigrant populations, with more than 100 languages spoken, and is home to the great preponderance of the state's undocumented residents. Prior to 2014, 840,000 working age adults in the eight-county Chicago metro area lacked health insurance.
Data can help us all understand who the uninsured are, where are they live and work, to help us connect them to coverage and bring Illinois closer to ensuring healthcare for all. The effects of public policy measures, and of stalemates such as the 2015-16 Illinois budget crisis, can often best be visualized by presenting data on the results they bring about.