Obamacare Is Working: Millions More Are Insured Than A Year Ago


The Urban Institute’s latest Health Reform Monitoring Survey, released on December 3rd, shows that Obamacare is working. The survey finds that the number of uninsured nonelderly American adults fell by over 10 million between September 2013 and September 2014. That figure represents over a 30 percent decrease in the number of uninsured adults age 18-64, in just one year’ s time.

In September 2013, an estimated 17.7 percent of Americans between the ages of 18-64 lacked health insurance. By September 2014, the percentage had fallen to just 12.4 percent of 18-64 year-olds. The gains in coverage benefited Americans across all ages, income levels, and ethnic groups. However, the most substantial improvements in coverage came for low-income Americans in states that accepted the federal Medicaid expansion.

If Republican Governors in many states had not blocked Medicaid expansion, even more Americans would have health insurance coverage. The uninsured rate plummeted a staggering 36.3 percent in the states that implemented the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. By contrast, in states that rejected the Medicaid expansion, the uninsured rate dipped just 23.9 percent.

One of the primary stated goals of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) was to make coverage more secure for those who had insurance, and to extend affordable coverage to those who were without insurance. The Urban Institute’s latest survey of health care outcomes demonstrates quite clearly that Obamacare is working as intended. The study also reveals that it would be working even better if Republican Governors and state legislatures would have accepted the Medicaid expansion instead of being hell bent on preventing the Affordable Care Act from working.

For the over 10 million adults between the ages of 18-64 who are now insured, the numbers are not mere statistics. They are opportunities for better health, obtaining necessary medications, and enjoying a longer life. Despite all of the criticisms heaped upon “Obamacare” by the charlatans and naysayers on the far right, the program is working as intended. For most Americans that is a good thing.



13 Replies to “Obamacare Is Working: Millions More Are Insured Than A Year Ago”

  1. Yep. That would include me, although I’m rarely if ever sick.

    I had been promised health care through a different avenue, but that never materialized. So I just added myself on my husband’s policy for 2015, and guess what?

    For the Enhanced Silver 94 plan for both he and I, we will be paying $96 per month! That’s with a $4,500 annual deductible, $3 dollar primary physician visit, and $3 prescription drug out-of-pocket (generic brands only).


  2. It depends on what you mean by “working.” Compared to health care plans in most of the world, it’s a disgrace and an insult.

    We do have to keep in mind that it is essentially a Republican plan that started life as “Romneycare” in Massachusetts. That makes it even more ironic that the GOP has opposed it so bitterly.

    Perhaps someday, the USA will have a real plan that covers all of its legal residents like civilized countries do.

  3. James, I have lived in England and Europe
    much of my life and it is like night and day, never having to worry about paying for healthcare premiums allows people to be free from worry just for a little extra in taxes during their working life, money they never miss.
    Retired Europeans spend their time as they should, enjoying travel etc without wondering if they will be hit with huge hospital or doctor bills.

  4. Although Ohio is a red state, Kasich, who initially said he would not allow the Medicaid expansion, changed his mind due to pressure from voters. Thank God he did. For the first time in his adult life, my 31 year old diabetic son has insurance that covers his cost of test strips and insulin. He has always been in the trap of part time, low skilled worker, but he has always PAID taxes. His employers were always scum who paid enough that he wasn’t eligible for traditional Medicaid but not enough to buy insurance on his own. Before the ACA my husband and I were having to help him with the cost of his testing supplies and insulin which are very expensive. Thanks to the ACA, he is now covered. My friends in Florida are not so lucky. One friend had to have a test which had a $100 co-pay and they wouldn’t even schedule the test until she paid the co-pay. The republicans in this country are literally killing people by not allowing the Medicaid Expansion.

  5. Thank you, ccc3!

    Although I am in good health and have only seen a hospital from the inside twice in my lifetime (for the births of my first and second sons), it’s nice to know that I am covered – and for so little money a month – should I be in an accident since, well, I do drive.

    I like the free annual wellness exam, and the low, low out-of-pocket costs: $3 primary care visit, the $5 specialist visit, the $3 lab test, the $5 X-ray and diagnostics, and the $3 generic prescription drug.

    Enhanced Silver 94 covers more than the Premium package that my husband had this past year, has the lowest out-of-pocket costs, and yet, costs 55% less per month with me on his policy!

    The Enhanced Silver 94 is purely ObamaCare and I LOVE IT.

  6. You are so right James. No one should have voted down your comment. We need single payer. If only all the folks protesting (I support them.) would have voted last month, we could have what we support. Instead we keep taking 2 steps forward and 3 steps backward. If only …

  7. U.S. healthcare spending growth hit 53-year low in 2013
    The 3.6 percent growth that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid recorded in 2013 is the smallest increase the agency has ever seen since it started tracking medical spending in 1960. […]
    The second-smallest increase came in 2009, when health costs grew 3.8 percent.

    Taken together, this shows that health care costs have grown really slowly for five years now. Some of this is likely cyclical: when the economy goes south, patients tend to use less medical care. But there are also hints that some of the slower growth is due to more structural changes in the health care sector—and could stick around for at least the next decade are so.

  8. Obamacare saving lives by making hospitals safer
    Hospitals are 17 percent less likely to make you sicker than they were four years ago, according to a new report from the federal government. That means you and your loved ones are less likely to get a hospital-based infection, get the wrong medication, fall, get bed sores, or get injured in other ways. The push to make hospitals safer came from Obamacare and it’s saved 50,000 lives.

  9. True enough. Obamacare was insurance reform. It improved the current system, but do to the necessity of compromise in order for it to pass, it didn’t challenge the ridiculous notion that health care should be treated like a for-profit commodity instead of a fundamental right. However, it does represent a significant step forward towards single-payer health care, because it acknowledged that universal (or at least near universal) coverage was one of its intended goals.

  10. I am just now noticing this article. The GOP have been remarkable silent. Must be the sound of D-E-F-E-A-T!

  11. You’re wrong, Joan. In ObamaCare, we have ObamaCare plans, like the Bronze and Silver plans (see my post above). The out-of-pocket costs are minimal, except for the annual deductible which is still too high, imo.

    On the other hand, it only costs me $3 to see a doctor, and my co-pay for generic medicine is also only $3. Also, there’s a FREE annual exam which wasn’t free before.

    Also…let’s not forget the Medical Loss Ratio (the MLR) that requires that all health insurance companies spend 80-85% of your premiums on YOU instead of advertising or exec pay.

    Also…under subsection 1332, there is a provision that will allow your State to implement a single payer if they choose. In fact, single-payer system is immensely expensive to implement, and the Federal gov’t through ObamaCare will help fund the lion’s share of it. Ask Vermont, that has requested and received the State Innovation waiver and will have single-payer soon.

  12. Obamacare Effect Linked to Lower Medical Cost Estimates
    Estimates of U.S. health-care spending for the next five years have been lowered by two federal agencies, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is getting much of the credit.

    U.S. health spending in 2019 will be $4 trillion, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said this week, or $500 billion less than the agency projected in 2010 when President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul became law. That announcement followed by a week a report from the Congressional Budget Office lowering its five-year cost estimates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.