This piece from 2014 gave us a glimpse into the lives of people affected by access to healthcare in an impoverished part of Kentucky.
““That’s the big question — does getting insurance bend the cost curve or the health outcomes curve?” said Karen Ditsch, the executive director of Juniper Health, which runs the nonprofit Breathitt clinic. “Is it going to make a difference?”
The starting point for any answer begins with life before Jan. 1. Eighteen percent of the county’s population — about 2,500 people — were uninsured, and rates of diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses have remained some of the highest in the country. The rate of adult obesity is 40 percent, for example, while 31 percent of adults smoke. The unemployment rate is 10 percent, and complications of poverty abound.”