Visualizing Health Care Reform

Screen shot of the data visualizationThis data-mapping project illustrated the potential impact of the ACA on uninsured Illinoisans, and inaugurated the practice of posting data presentations related to health insurance and health reform in Illinois.

On March 23, 2012 – the second anniversary of the ACA enactment – Illinois Health Matters launched a data visualization that showed a geographic and demographic breakdown of uninsured state residents who would be eligible for coverage when the law was fully implemented in 2014.

Using 2008-09 data from the American Community Survey, Chicago demographers Rob Paral Associates performed imputations that estimated the number of uninsured eligible for the Medicaid expansion and for discounted ACA marketplace plans. The interactive map could zero in on one of the state’s 87 “Public Use Metropolitan Areas” or roll up to larger regions around the state.

Visualizing Reform won a second place prize in the national Civic Data Challenge. (Funded in part by the Knight Foundation, the goal of the challenge was to turn raw data of “civic health” into beautiful, useful applications and visualizations, enabling communities to be better understood and made to thrive.)

In reporting on an update of the data released the following year, the AP highlighted the over 40,000 uninsured veterans in Illinois, 32% (13,000) of whom would be newly eligible for Medicaid under the Medicaid expansion.

Visualizing Reform was the first of the extensive series of data-mapping projects on health insurance and care delivery that are now available at Data Matters.

Funding for the project came from the Chicago Community Trust and the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation. Data imputations came from Rob Paral Associates; development was by William Wang.

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