The Rhode Island naysayers –especially conservatives-- love to cite so-called state ratings that rank the Ocean State near the bottom of states in such subjective measures as “business climate” and “business friendly” policies.

But maybe it is time to inject some balance into these rankings. This, a data-driven measure from the Economic Progress Institute, points to a metric all Rhode Islanders ought to be proud of: The rate of citizens not insured for medical care has dropped from nearly 12 percent in 2013 to four percent in 2018.

This is evidence that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is working, something some conservatives don’t like to acknowledge. The EPI is an interest group (liberal) but they rely on data and facts.

The Rhode Island numbers fly in the face of what is happening nationally, where the uninsured rate increased from 8.7 percent in 2017 to 8.9 percent in 2018. Still, the 2018 rate was much lower than the 14.5 percent rate in the year before the ACA was approved.

There is a yawning gap between states that adopted the expanded  Medicaid eligibility. In states that expanded Medicaid, the uninsured rate was 6.6 percent compared with 12.4 percent for the mostly red states that did not expand Medicaid coverage.

“Thanks to the ACA more Rhode Islanders are able to get the comprehensive health care they need to become or stay healthy,” said Linda Katz, policy director for EPI.