October 17, 2021

9 million fewer people uninsured since Obamacare

th-11Nine million fewer people lacked health insurance in the first year Obamacare coverage became available for them, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau says.

Before the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces opened, about 13.3 percent of Americans lacked health coverage. But after plans became available in the marketplaces for those without employer-sponsored coverage, the uninsured rated dropped to 10.4 percent of the population last year.

There’s still a long way to go before goals set by President Obama’s healthcare law are fully realized, as 33 million Americans still lack health insurance. A big aim of the 2010 legislation was to expand coverage to people who are low income or don’t have access to coverage through their employer, chiefly through expanding Medicaid and providing federally subsidized private plans through the new marketplaces.

But the initial decline in the uninsured rate is still viewed as a success to the White House and supporters of the healthcare law, especially after major technical failures plagued the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov, in the first year it was open.

The drop in uninsured is largely due to a surge of enrollees in Medicaid, the federal insurance program for the poor, and more Americans buying plans on their own, without the help of an employer. Enrollment in state Medicaid programs increased by 2 percent from 2013 to 2014, while enrollment in individual market plans grew by 3.2 percent.

The number of Americans with employer-sponsored coverage slightly declined, however, by 0.3 percent.

The second season of Obamacare enrollment ended in February, but the census numbers only take into consideration coverage expansions through 2014. The uninsured rate is likely lower now, after the second enrollment season went more smoothly than the first one.

Source: Washington Examiner