Obamacare Is A Smashing Success As Uninsured Rates Continue To Plummet

obamacare is awesome/   [CC image credit: Will O'Neill | Flickr.]

On Tuesday, Gallup publicized their 2014 year-end results for the answer to the question “Do you have health insurance coverage?” asked in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey. The poll brings good news, as it finds that the percentage of Americans who lack health insurance dropped 3.5 percentage points from 2013 to 2014. According to the national survey, in 2013, 17.3 percent of Americans were without health insurance. In 2014, just 13.8 percent lacked health insurance coverage.

The survey, taken from a representative sample of over 175,000 Americans across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, was conducted from January 2nd to December 30th of last year. Not only did the uninsured rate drop between 2013 and 2014, but it is continuing to drop. For the last quarter of 2014, Gallup found the uninsured rate was just 12.9 percent. The promising new figures also don’t account for all the new enrollments in 2015. 55 percent of Americans who did not have coverage in late 2014, were planning to sign up for coverage during the current open enrollment period.

Predictably, states that expanded Medicaid and also established either a state-based marketplace exchange or a state-federal partnership saw the most dramatic declines in uninsured rates. The nine states that saw the biggest drops in the percentage of adults who were uninsured were all states that expanded Medicaid and established marketplace exchanges.

Arkansas had the most dramatic reduction in uninsured residents. The Arkansas uninsured rate plummeted from 22.5 percent to 11.4 percent from 2013 to 2014. Kentucky’s decline was also dramatic, going from 20.4 percent uninsured to just 9.8 percent. Behind Arkansas and Kentucky, the next largest drops in the percentage uninsured were in Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, California, Connecticut, Colorado and Maryland. Montana and New Mexico rounded out the top ten, tying for 10th place. Of those states, only Montana failed to pass Medicaid expansion.

Gallup found that the uninsured rates dropped an average of 4.8 percentage points, in the 21 states that expanded Medicaid and also set up health care exchanges or partnerships. By contrast, in states that failed to fully implement either or both of these steps, the uninsured rate dropped a smaller 2.7 percentage points.

Massachusetts had the lowest uninsured rate at 4.6 percent. Massachusetts first passed “Romneycare” in 2006, an exchange that bears some similarity to Obamacare, even though Mitt Romney essentially disowned the successful program when he ran for president in 2012. Texas had the highest rate uninsured at 24.4 percent. Republican-controlled Texas has steadfastly opposed any efforts to expand Medicaid. While the uninsured rate in Texas declined slightly from 27 percent in 2013, it still remains the highest uninsured rate in the nation.

The bottom line is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is working. One of the primary purposes of the legislation was to provide health insurance to Americans who lacked insurance. Gallup’s numbers reveal that the ACA is doing exactly what it was intended to do. It is reducing the number of Americans who lack health insurance. Millions of Americans who did not have coverage before the ACA was passed, are now insured.

Republicans in Congress can continue to fight tooth and nail to repeal Obamacare. The conservative majority in the Supreme Court could choose to cripple the ACA later this year. However, anyone who is bent on repealing the ACA, must realize that their real goal is to deny Americans access to affordable health care. There is no other way to spin their motives. Obamacare is working. Republicans who want to repeal it do so not because the law is a failure, but because of its remarkable success. They refuse to let the President score any kind of victory, even if it means they will have to rob Americans of much-needed health coverage in the process.

7 Replies to “Obamacare Is A Smashing Success As Uninsured Rates Continue To Plummet”

  1. This makes me grateful we have a Democratic governor. I have to give a shout out to Governor Beshear! Our states uninsured rate has declined dramatically!

  2. How Many Americans Will Die If The Supreme Court Chooses To Gut Obamacare?
    It should go without saying, but health care is not a luxury good. According to a Harvard study, in 2005, before Obamacare became law, close to 45,000 Americans between the age of 18 and 64 died because they lacked health insurance. Diabetics lost their sight and slowly watched their organs fail because they were unable to afford insulin. Mothers delayed care for curable infections until the wait proved fatal. Wives rationed the medication they needed to get out of bed in the morning in order to pay for their husband’s care. Doctors would base treatment decisions for their uninsured patients on which drug company had most recently provided them with free samples of their product.

  3. Maxie 2014
    So do the folks in your state know that McConnell is vowing to end the health care law or do they still think Ky nect is not the ACA?

  4. YESSS!! This is what I call “BITCH SLAP”. *Drop Mic* Mr. President and walk away.

    Charles Gaba put out his graph:
    ’32 Million people in 1 graph’

    Nerdy Wonka also tweeted: https://twitter.com/NerdyWonka/status/570291062603972608
    “Medicare saved $15 Billion on prescription drug cost. $1,600 per person”

    President Obama vetoed XLKeystone pipeline. Their not enough votes to overrides the presidential vote.

  5. HHS: There is no administrative fix if Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare subsidies

    The onus is on a Republican Congress and mostly Republican states to come up with a solution for the millions of people who could lose their health insurance subsidies in a case the Supreme Court hears next week. King v. Burwell challenges the tax credits people who live in the states using the federal health exchanges receive. If the court strikes down those subsidies, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell has told Congress that there is no regulatory fix.

  6. GOP gets bad news on ObamaCare repeal

    The Senate’s chief referee has dealt a significant setback to conservatives who want to send an ObamaCare repeal bill to the president’s desk this year.

    GOP sources say Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough has raised red flags in response to queries about whether it’s possible to use a special budgetary procedure to repeal the controversial law “root and branch,” as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said.

  7. What’s that good German word….
    Former Arizona county sheriff Richard Mack, a fierce opponent of Obamacare and a leader in the “constitutional sheriff” movement, is struggling to pay his medical bills after he and his wife each faced serious illnesses. The former sheriff and his wife do not have health insurance and started a GoFundMe campaign to solicit donations from family and friends to cover the costs of their medical care.
    Read More

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